Category Archives: the dance

river dancing

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On Thursday evening, Pam White and I drove down to the banks of the Housatonic River in Kent, CT to commemorate World Water Day.  Here is a a video that Pam shot of my dance with the river.

We are in the last 7 days of our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for River/Body, which will premiere in and on the Housatonic in August 2018. 

This dance is for anyone who who has a body, who drinks water, who loves to take a shower, or a bath, or go for a swim, or appreciate any body of water at any time of the year in any part of the world.

This dance is for you.

We need your help! 

Please make a donation, and share with friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHARE & EMAIL

riding: the horses, the river

IMG_3032Sanne, ridden by Brandi Rivera

I just posted a new page on my website, called THE HORSES.  I wanted to share a bit more information about my equine collaborators, Capprichio, Amadeo and Sanne. All three have worked with me in performances, and all three are my co-therapists in my Somatic Experiencing/equine therapy practice.  Each one is so unique, so clear in what they bring to a session or a dance.

As I wrote the page, I wondered, is this confusing?  I am sending out appeals for the INDIEGOGO campaign for RIVER/BODY, the dance that I am creating in the Housatonic River this summer.  Then I am posting about my equine work.  Soon I will be telling you about some solo performances coming up this summer, and announcing a book talk or a podcast.

I don’t feel the separation among these, but more and more feel the flow of connection among them and the way that they intersect and support each other. I can feel  how one led inevitably and naturally to the next, and then back again.

Many years ago I was privileged to take a 10-day Delicious Movement Workshop training with Eiko & Koma.  It changed forever the way I experience and understand movement.  During the workshop, Eiko said that she does not commute from her work to her daily life.  I realized that I did a lot of commuting and compartmentalizing, and separating.  In saying that, she helped me to find the deeper rhythms that underlie all that engages me.

Now, as I am expanding my private work, and entering the waters of a new dance, I am listening for the connections.  What is it to enter and hold the river of the horses’s movement and body within the banks of my own? How can I ride and be ridden by the river?  How can I support others’ capacity to connect with the deeper currents underneath that which seems to separate us?  What is this common body that we share?

DSC03869 dancer Amy Wynn in the Housatonic

 

the witness

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I am on Martha’s Vineyard, entering the waters of moving presence with my autistic godson Jacob, and his parents. Today his mother JoAnn and I entered our work through the discipline of Authentic Movement. First Jacob and JoAnn are the movers, I am witness.  Then Jacob and I are movers as JoAnn witnesses.  The receptive embodied presence of the witness is the deep lake in which the movement is reflected and held.

Entering one’s own movement in the presence of Jacob is something like dancing with a horse.  Eyes need to be open, because he is unpredictable, riding the rough, twisting currents or his own movement.  But there are steep differences. Jacob is not choosing, he is being chosen by his movements.  There are moments of deliberate attention, but then those dissolve back into the mystery of his patterns. He is both porous and impenetrable. Sometimes we are dancing together, other times rapt in our individual experiencing. I have experienced this alone togetherness in a paddock with a horse.

In 2002, Janet Adler wrote:

As many of us know, autistic children have a tremendous capacity to concentrate. They can do one movement indefinitely. What is the force in these children that draws them, continues to sustain them, into repeating certain movements over and over?

Needing to find the children, to find myself in their presence, I chose to concentrate into the very stuff of each gesture by actually entering the precious detail of their bodies moving, trying to move exactly as they did. In doing so I had the privilege of learning their silent language. I found them in a merged state with their own movement- because of an absence of an inner witness
 fervently focused on their idiosyncratic movement patterns. These children taught me about movement patterns. Could their prayer have been: “See me, and then I can see myself?” And so, slowly, accompanied by an outer, moving, open-eyed witness, they began, just began, to see themselves. In such moments of grace, an inner witness was born, barely born- tiny beginnings, enormous moments in my life. It was here that an opportunity for a dialogic relationship between us emerged.

I have been entering the precious detail of Jacob’s movement for 16 years.  Today, in the cold winter sun, surrounded by the bare trees, the soft thin grass, the lengthening shadows, I am still a student, still moving, still listening, moving and waiting to be moved.

the poem, the dance

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This is how I want to make dances.  This is how I want to teach.  This is how I want to be.

Thank you Mary Oliver!

 

 

Everything

I want to make poems that say right out, plainly,
what I mean, that don’t go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves.  I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister

the dash.  I want to write with quiet hands.  I
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daises and everlasting and the
ordinary grass.  I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be

songs in which nothing is neglected,
not a hope, not a promise.  I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable.  I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.

~ Mary Oliver ~

 

 

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