photo by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I stepped back from my concentration for a moment today in Frey Faust's class and looked at my fellow students. What I saw was a lot of people all investing hard in moving and understanding. There was a sincerity on every face. I'm still smiling as I write this.

I like watching people do their work, or something they love doing. There is something very intimate in full concentration. Seeing that feels like a privilege granted. When I choreograph, or see somebody dance, I prefer dancers to have that attention to movement. I don't want to see anyone go through the moves, I want to witness them rediscovering them.

Laura Bernasconi, a lovely ballet teacher, has spoken of dancing with the ego versus NOT dancing with the ego. She was proposing to her students to let the choreography guide them instead of willing themselves to perform well.

My interpretation of the issue is to concentrate in the movement, on all of it's levels. A dancer needs to manage their body in time and space, and that pretty much fills the mind at the moment of the dance, at least for me. Through that thorough attention it is possible to reach an irreplaceable happiness. Dancing becomes meditation rather than a show. I wish I had the magic words to reach that state every time.

Music is another lifesaver. (Or a precipice, considering how much there is unnecessary mood music in films, theater and dance shows.) To get to mention a third of my favorite dance things in addition to Frey and Laura, the fully rounded - ecstasy producing - flamenco wholeness needs to be listed here. In flamenco, compas is everything. Without compas - no flamenco. It is a 12 count rosary that demands total surrender and weaves together music, dance and lyrics. 

The best definition of a performer's presence I have ever heard of, is similar to that. The total presence a dancer grants to their movement translates as something that is often described as stillness, or stage presence. Today at Frey Faust's class I had a glimpse of several individuals surrendering to that simultaneously. Must be beautiful being able to facilitate that.

So there is an extra dimension, that good old together but as individuals experience. It is crucial in social dancing, but a performance situation is a social situation as well. The performers and the audience are doing something together. To get there we need the tools of letting go of the ego thing.

Here a link to a TED talk about creativity. At the very end something worth hearing about dance.

No comments:

Post a Comment