thank you friends

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All my Body-Mind Centering friends are departed save a handful, nestling in our dorms one last night.  I am filled with appreciation, admiration, delight.  Here is an offering, inspired by Clover Catskill’s beautiful performance today.

Thank you friends!

Mindful

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

~ Mary Oliver

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sinking into practice

This image feels like the rich slough of sensory experiencing material I have been steeping in all week at the Body-Mind Centering Association conference at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  This is only my second BMCA conference, and I am hooked. It is an immersion in bodily wisdom and mindfulness via the visionary work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and those who have studied, appreciated and expanded her teachings.  The collegial breadth and depth here is stunning, delicious, inspiring.  Feeling met, held, welcomed and taught by this community is a most precious gift.

My post-conference body carries the many traces of shared dances, sounds and questions.  It also carries a hunger to deepen those inquiries, to nourish these friendships, old and new.  As we ready ourselves to leave, I feel a slight panic and a more than slight sadness.  I want these connections, I want to be included here.  I want more experience of these lovely faces, bodies, minds and the tremendous integrity and devotion they embody.

Thank you one and all!

 

 

 

mammal

 

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This is a sample of the design that Christine Joly de Lotbiniere is designing for Mammal, one of the dances in Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs.

Here is her latest note to me: “This is one of 12 panels for the skirt; each panel having a variation on a theme. I think the hand sewing of the black appliqués, though labor intensive,  lends a very interesting quality to the pattern…. we just would not have achieved this with machine stitching them down. I used vintage threads throughout, some of them from the 1950’s and the quality of the thread is so superior to what we have today! You can decide to leave the hanging threads or to remove them. I believe they lend a fantastic “mammal” organic feeling.

I purchased leggings and will be overdyeing those, possibly painting into them as well. The gloves have been patterned so they are next up: extra length added to them and ombre dyed from black at the fingertips to nude at the top of the arms, I will be applying texture and pattern to those as well. They will have latex applied on the palm and fingers.”

Exciting!  The journey of this dance has been intense. This is how I describe the dance: Mammal is a “shape-shifting” dance – a cellular, poetic echolocation that viscerally connects male and female, human and non-human at the porous borderland where they intersect and blend.

It feels like I have been invoking this dance for two years.  In the process, I have experienced a re-wiring of my nervous system and a re-configuration of my body’s systems:  fluid, bone, cells, fascia.  It is as if my flesh had to be readied to receive the transmission.

For Christine, this has meant staying in the saddle as the dance bucks, shifts and morphs.  But then, she is good at that, really, really good, which is why we have worked together for so long.

If you love dance, if you love theater, design, please help to support this audacious, ambitious project.  We are nearing the end of our Indiegogo campaign, but not the end of our work, our inspiration, and our desire.

You can help support artists and art!

Please DONATE to our Indiegogo campaign.

Thank you!

meet Christine Joly de Lotbinniere

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 8.11.20 PMChristine Joly de Lotbinniere

I have been collaborating with this costume diva for over two decades.  She has made costumes for Branch, The Yellow Wallpaper, Antigone’s Dream, Wonderland to name a few.  She is a wild woman.

Now she is building my costume for Mammal. 

Mammal is a “shape-shifting” dance in which the character is a pentimento: repeatedly under-drawn and over-painted aspects of male/female, human/animal qualities, movements, responses and perceptions. The dance is a cellular, poetic echolocation that viscerally connects male and female, human and non-human at the porous borderland where they intersect and blend.

The design r & d period for this one has been particularly strange and interesting, beginning with when it was called Beast. The costume ideas have morphed then morphed again and again.  We think that we have it.  Part of the challenge is that the dance is a growing, shifting, live thing – so that catching it in color and shape has been slippery.

I will be performing Mammal as a work-in-progress at the Body-Mind Centering Conference at Reed College in Portland, OR on July 25.  If you are in the neighborhood, come and see!

 

You can help support artists and art!

Please DONATE to our Indiegogo campaign.

Thank you!