Summer Solo Studio Practice #1

I enter the studio and it feels gray. Gray floor, gray temperature, gray hum from construction on High Street. I try turning on the the lights and turn them off again. Embracing the tone of this Tuesday afternoon feels easier than fighting it.

I lay on the floor a bit. It’s been two weeks since I’ve really danced. My body feels both sluggish and antsy, craving warmth and ease.

I warm up with an improvisation, paying attention to breath and sound mostly. Where is the place of my swinging legs and the opening of my chest  within this room, this building, this city? Can I be in my body and also on the street at the time via the resonance of sound in my ears?

I write a little and take stab at visualizing the memory of my improvisation.

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It feels satisfying and insufficient at the same time.

I take some time to work on a warm-up I might use for my class next fall. It helps me organize my body and focus my mind. I’m gently surprised by the kind of movement that emerges. It feels old, from another time in my life. Comforting to know I have something within me to share. The body remembers so much and yet constantly surprises.

I return to my drawing and use it as a score. I notice new patterns of timing and weight, but familiar trappings of internal pathways in my body: that same spiral, that same downward focus. I quickly become bored.

I read some Jonathon Burrows for inspiration: “Every step arrives at a place. If you care where you are then we will see also.” I turn the lights back on.

I choose a place: the backyard from childhood. What sensations are there? I give myself the restriction of non-locomotor movement as my go-to is often to meander aimlessly.

I come up with a series memory-movements; the memories emerge quickly in my mind like a slideshow. Accidentally pulling my grandfather off the deck, my puppy hiding under the porch steps, breaking my hand after falling from the rings. It feels satisfying to do but after watching the video, I’m disappointed. Mime is not what I’m after, and plus, the meaning for me is hidden from the viewer. That idea could make it intriguing. Right now it looks confusing.

Abstraction from sensation is different that abstraction from emotion. How do I gather the movement impulse of a memory without an emotive qualifier?

Next time I want to get more physical. I need to map my body in a way that pushes my container.

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