Something is happening with my writing lately. Or more accurately, not much is happening with my writing lately. Not on paper and not over the internet.
Yesterday i thought for a moment that i had a new and deep insight about what it means to dance. But of course it wasn’t so deep and maybe it’s not even new. But anyway, i was just thinking of myself, my body, so much like millions of other bodies, all constructed after the same blueprint. And thinking of this body moving in a space defined by four walls, some windows, a ceiling and a wooden floor. It suddenly became clear to me that dancing is just taking this ability/action/phenomenon of moving and making art from it. You can also move on concrete, on sand, out in the sun, rain, dark, under water or in a cave. The choice of moving in a certain space with a certain type of floor is exactly like the choice of a painter to paint on a canvas and use a certain type of color.
And then the dancer can think of space, timing, expression, inner images, physical qualities and so on…. and the painter can think of perspective, light and shadow, composition, atmosphere, emotions and so on…
And also, today i was watching a rehearsal of the final pieces of AK08 of TIP, Bewegungs-art Freiburg. I was very happy to observe that i was watching with my feelings, noticing what kind of presence the dancers had, feeling sometimes an urge to tell one of them “Get up now and do something!” and also enjoying some things. I also feel less an urge to laugh while i watch, which i think is a very good sign.
That’s it for now (but i’m also very happy that germany won the eurovision song contest – it was really the best song!)
Two movies in one day! Big Eden – mountains, americans, native americans, gay love story, superficial, not very engaging, embarrassingly bad ending. Eyes Wide Open – Orthodox jews, gay love story, despair, oppression, poverty, faith, fundementalism, slow, realistic, quite convincing.
I think today i finally understood what it means to be gay. It means having emotions.
I don’t know how to express my anger.
Images of images of images…
Some things i want to learn. Some things i learn and then i know them. Some things i know i am learning but i still don’t know them. Some things i can’t wait to learn. Some things i don’t need to wait to learn. And some things i wonder if i am ever going to learn.
I am struggling to let my perception enter my mind and my body. I never imagined this would be a struggle. Is it meaningful to have this struggle? Can i be the winner in this struggle? Anyway… i love this about dance. All these threads that connect so directly to the essense of being human. You move. You perceive. You feel. You move.
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Now i know what it feels like when i feel hurt. I mean what the physical sensation is. It’s like a little scratching from the inside in two places at once: under the sternum and in the throat. I can really make this feeling appear whenever i want to if i just think of a few words that were said to me.
I want to want. I want to want to do what i do. I want to do what i want. I want to do and to want to do more. I want to do and do until i don’t want any more. I want to not want to do anything except for what i do. I want to want to be me. I want to want to want. I want to do what i would want to do. I want to do what i do when i want. I want to do what makes me want. I want to know what i want to do. I want to do what i want to know how to do. I know how to do what i want to do when i know what i want.
“Find what interests you” – CRRRRRAAAAAASH
How do i find what interests me? How do i know? How do i go on if this is such a problem? What does it feel like when something interests me? Do i feel it in my body? Where? Or do i know it with my mind?
I have spent a lot of time this week being lost. I just realised it now. Maybe that’s why i am so tired. Lost in space, lost in improvisation, lost in trying to have images, lost in myself, my will and drive. Lost in connection to others, to another. Lost in the forest, lost in time. Lost in the story of my life. But i am still here and the world around me is still around me. I guess these are the basic things that never change. Is that a good thing?
I don’t know what i learnt this week. I feel a bit lost.
All these sources of input are like thin threads. I know they all come together somehow but first i have to grab them and feel where they are leading. My friend yochanan told me the last time i talked to him: “I am realizing more and more that i should trust my intuition”. Now, as if it wasn’t him who said this to me, i also feel a strong wish to dare more to go with my intuition and let go of all the rest. At least for a while, until i am sure i am holding this intuition thread safely in my hand and i can feel where it is leading me.
That was one thread.
Another was – hello eyes, hello ears, hello skin (and actually why not also hello nose, hello tongue). Use your senses when you dance. Seems like a pretty straight forward message, but when you try to do it you realize how easilly you find yourself doing only one of the two – sensing or moving. Then you realize it is about opening up on a very deep level so that the mind is taking in all that it can take in and the body doesn’t need to give up its own freedoms and movement can go on.
Vacation week. No dance classes every morning from 9:30. No everyday physical practice of moving together with other people. No lunch every day with the other classmates. Today i thought “Oh, it’s time to write what i learnt this week” and then emmediately “Ah! This week i had vacation, so i don’t need to write anything” and right after that – “But why not? Don’t i learn anything when i am on vacation?”
So what did i learn this week? And did it have anything to do with dance? As usual, my first answer is “i don’t know what i have learnt” and it takes quite some time to get out of this dead end of thought. Maybe this: this week i deffinitely felt how important it is to take some time with individual people from the class and just have some time with this one person. I was sitting in a car together with Claudia for two and a half hours and even though my sit bones were really aching towards the end of the ride, i was very much appreciating this opportunity to talk with Claudia and have the time to let the conversation flow to wherever it wants. No one else to take into consideration or to listen to. I will try to do it with others in my class.
Oh and i have actually learnt a lot about joomla this week. This is a bit more technical, but who says technical is bad? So now i know how to backup a joomla website and how to move it from one place to another. I also know a bit about managing users in joomla. All of this is making me think that maybe i should continue with this occupation for a while even though the thought keeps comming back to my mind that at some point i will have to decide where my focus is. Well, in the meentime no one is offering me money for my dancing so i guess i still don’t have a real dillema.
Strange schedule, hardly meeting the other people in class, going to school in the afternoon and staying until late at night, very different processes in the different pieces i decided to be part of…
For this showing my wish was to feel more than the last time. To not perform in front of an audience with the feeling that i am just performing a task. I certainly felt more this time, especially in my work with Yannis which was like a study lab for contact, improvisation and feelings. I should remember that i am extremely lucky. This makes me feel a little bit better now in this afternoon hour on a sunday, often a moody time for me, and maybe today more than other sundays. But i am lucky and this week i was able to dive in and swim very deep.
I don’t know what i learned this week. I only know after watching a few videos of myself dancing, from this week and also from before, that i would like to focus on working with higher tonus and learn to move with it.
Thinking of the showing week, i wish i had an idea of what approach i would like to have in the future for the next showing weeks. One idea that i have now is that i should stick to ideas that have a very simple physical ground and from there i can work to find the depth, the emotions… the other way, going from an idea to an emotion to movement. doesn’t seem to work so well for me.
This week i learned something about what is private and what is personal. I had heard this word, “private” a few times, in the context of what works or what belongs on stage and what does not. I was asking myself if i was the only one who didn’t have a clear idea of what this “private” really was. Were there some things that were just inappropriate to put on stage? How was i going to know what those things were?
Then came a class disscussion led, or supported by Lilo. This helped to make a few things a bit clearer.
If we give it some thought and if we practice observing, then we know “private” when we see it. It doesn’t belong on stage in the sense that it is not a part of the story being told. It’s something which is not meant for the audience but which never the less occurs in front of the audience.
And what is the line between private and not-private when we just practice and not perform? When we do a warm up? Or dance contact improvisation in a jam? I probably need to think more about this to come up with a good answer but right now i think about it as a line that separates between moments when i have my focus on myself (my sore muscles, my feeling tired, my plans for the afternoon/evening, a conversation i had yesterday with a friend… etc etc) and on the other hand moments when i have my focus on the work (how is my foot moving? what direction do i have now? what muscle tonus? who is moving next to me? etc…)
The other word was “personal”. That’s also a tricky word. But to me (for now, until new and deeper insights) the word “personal” simply refers to a single person. Everything that somehow directly “belongs” to that person is personal. Personality is a very good example. The combination of all the qualities, traits, behaviours and habits that make up some pattern which we identify with one person.
This week… what did i learn this week…
This week passed so fast. And the weekend even faster. I met my old friend frustration again this week. This week frustration was accompanied by another friend, i’m not sure what he’s called but he comes when i see that i can’t communicate with another person. Maybe anger is his name? Anyway, the combination of the two was just too much and i think this was the first time since the education started that i just let these friends, anger and frustration, throw me out of balnce and out of control. Nothing dramatic happened, i just had to stop. But after a few minutes break i was able to go on with another partner who didn’t make me feel like communication was not an option.
I guess i learned some Capoeira steps (actually i think they are really useful when dancing contact), i learned a new movement sequence from Lilo which helps to start sending out energy through the extremities, i also had some interesting input in other forms – an open stage evening at the school, interesting conversations about performances, dance, teaching… and a very smoky evening at the “Rang Tang Tang” bar in Freiburg.