Summer Solo Studio Practice #4

I’m both excited and exhausted today. The day has been long and it’s only 2pm.

I start with a vigorous improvisation of no particular theme. I let my frantic impulses of the day guide me. I sense a change in how my body is adapting to this solo practice from where I began two weeks ago. It feels like a familiar friend now. 

I visualize my experience.


I love the sensation of black ink on paper and wonder if my body can do that in performance. Bleed an imprint of an experience into an audience’s consciousness. I should re-watch some of Tere O’Connor’s work.

I spend some time working on an organized warm-up series. Floorwork. Plies. Tendues. It feels nice to remind myself of the rituals of being a dancer. They’re there for a reason, for support, for integration, for strength.

Revisiting my material from last session, I develop some new moves with today’s map and combine it all together. It’s amazing what time can do for the brain and muscle memory. I am so often reminded that space in between can sometimes be the glue that holds my creative practice together. The best work often takes place when I relax and let it happen to me. I no longer need a map, I can just be in the movement.

I do not make dance, I uncover it. I find it beneath the material that obscures it.

I still sense that I’m not going deep enough in the body. My map is missing the rivers and forests, the ground underneath the sidewalks, the roots of the trees. There’s still some parts I’m not touching. How do I get to know those parts as well as I know my limbs, my head & tail?

Trisha Brown is heavy on my mind today, too. I want my own Watermotor. 

Even as I dance it, I worry about abstraction. I love abstraction, as a concept and as a choreographic device. The pull towards the abstract keeps me interested in this form. And yet, what to do when it becomes illegible to those who watch it?

Do I care?

Can weight and time and structure and shape be enough to focus attention?

I end a little early today and take ballet class instead. Sometimes returning to what is old can be as refreshing as trying to create something new.

My body thanks me for taking the time to organize it. My tension releases.


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