Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in Rehearsal

To prepare to get back into branch dancing we lay on 18" balls, letting go into gravity as if hanging off the ball. We slow down and allow ourselves to go to the edge of intensity. When its too much, we pull back from the point of contact with the ball, not all the way, just enough to continue to ride the edge of the movement and sensation. We go back to the practice of evenly matching the quality of energy at the point of contact throughout the body. And, we let the body stretch itself, hang itself.

As we slowly rise from our prone positions we
pay attention to the closed circuit of energy between the hands and the feet that is created by our simultaneous attention to these. The four points establish parameters of a circuit of energy.
Our attention and perception activate and sustain the circuit, respectively.

We move into the practice of hanging off/from the vertical branch. We continue to pay attention to the circuit created by the hands and feet. The hands now hold the branch vertical to the ground. We experience how our perception of earth's gravitational pull is magnified through holding and sensing the branch.
We practice evenly matching the quality of energy at the point of contact, in this case the hands, throughout the body. We practice of evenly matching the quality of the feet (the point of contact to the earth), to the hands (the point of contact to the branch), and then throughout the body. Attention on two or more foci generates energetic connections and movement impulses throughout the body. We practice choosing different pathways hanging in various ways from the branch.

We practice holding the branch horizontally while imagining we still are hanging from it. The muscles retain the memory of hanging and in recalling they imitate, the rest of the body follows. The joints of the feet, legs, and hips open to support this fiction. We ask ourselves, what is moving up to support the the branch? what is hanging?

Now we arrive at the piece, Winter Dance. Its a simple dance; each dancer moves
across the projected environment on a slow journey of relationships between the image, the shadows we create, and each other. We move for a while; we step out and watch each other. We identify and look for ways of magnifying potential relationships. We arrive at a score.

Marion comments on how the way the light from the projector gets cut off at the feet makes her think of the feet sinking into the snow. Beau remembers dancing on Lake Erie, the cracking ice under our feet. The piece begins to unfold.

Beau Hancock, Marion Ramirez, and I will be performing Winter Dance at Pregones Theater in Da Bronx on Jan 7.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Winter Dance

In the past month I performed Winter Dance at the ACDFA regional conference at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, and at the Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University. It is performed by Michael Roberts, Beau Hancock and me within a videoscape of a snowstorm shot by me in 2007. The sound is taken from video of another snowstorm.

It was made to fit the 12-minute-and-under proscenium format so popular these days. I don't think this is the best format for the branch work, but, so much of what we do these days must fit into this structure (no need to go into a discussion of the dire state of dance presenting). So I keep making these short pieces!

The following kalaidescopic piece I created with footage from the video of the performance shot by Eun Jung Choi. The mandala effect works well with the states of gravity and light series of branch dances performed within a projected environment, especially in the way that the visual information is translated and connects to the dance of moving into/shifting into balance.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Forest Bathing in Japan!

Forest Bathing! Check it out!