Friday, January 21, 2011

Dance Lessons

Today I was working on a piece of choreography, just the very beginnings of something, and Marcy was helping by being my "mirror."  I don't have a proper, real mirror, and I needed to be able to see the shapes I was making. I needed to make sure they were worth exploring, that they looked like what I was feeling.

They did.  I was also a bit stuck, trying to figure out how to get from one sentence to the next, so to speak.  And just being seen and having someone to talk to helped me figure it out almost instantly.

Hemingway said that in order to write, you must write one true sentence. Then another. Then another. And on and on.

I am learning how deeply, profoundly true that is for any art, for all of life.

I also had read many months ago that if your own choreography does not challenge you physically when you are first making it, then you're not working hard enough.

And today, yes, I really got that.  I have only created a few phrases of material and it leaves me breathing heavy, muscles feeling like jello.

If your work is not leaving you breathless, how will it ever do that for a viewer or a reader or a listener?

To be made breathless by our work means being will to take risks, to go back to beginner mind, to start afresh each time you approach yourself.

Good lessons for dance and great lessons for every minute of our lives.


Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

wow! I think that for Marcie to be your mirror is such a beautiful excercise for you both as a couple!
How luckly for you both to be able to share that level of intimacy--phenomenal!

Deborah Carr said...

I like this. Very much. When that single note or phrase or movement or image rises above all the others and snatches our breath away, that art is given life.

LauraX said...

I love visualizing Marcie as your mirror...the way you create your movement sequences in "sentences"....I had never thought of dance in this way before...beautiful Christine, thank you.

Grace said...

You could get someone (i.e. Marcie) to film you doing the dance too; I think that would be very helpful especially if you usually dance without a wall mirror. I know how hard it is to know what you look like dancing without one (but my belly dance class is moving to a studio with a wall to wall mirror--so excited). Even if you do have a mirror, i think watching it on film would give you a different perspective.