Cooking in class

•September 5, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I taught a fundamentals class tonight – rolling and spirals.

What was most interesting was the analogy that came to me, after, for how the class was constructed. It felt a bit like I had been cooking, a soup or stew especially – I pulled out a bunch of different ingredients that seemed like they might go together; I prepared and introduced each one to the stew; but then it needs time for the flavours to cook and intermingle; and finally, and addition of some final spice (or element) to bring it to completion.

After the check-in, I began with a really simple of idea of rolling the firearms over and back – to establish an interest in a simplicity of the sensation of rolling. We then took this same idea into simple rolling on the floor. In a way, this was probably like setting up the pot and pouring in the initial water and stock.

Then, the adding of ingredients: Crescent rolls, standing rolling around pelvises, opening-closing rolls, assisted spiral rolls, solo spiral rolls, standing rolling around pelvises with the spiral limbs to direct, support and counterbalance.

Now to let it cook. Time, time, time. Some partner swaps.

The final dash of spice. Pause, separate, make triangle with hands and re-enter with skull. Resetting the rolling point here. Time. Play it back out the pelvis, and the whole body.

Yum.

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20th Anniversary of Melbourne Jam – Live Music Jam

•June 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The finding of a dance
The exquisite waiting for the coalescence.
And the will it, won’t it; is there enough here?

Push it, ride it, fly it
Waiting in every moment of action. Acting in every moment of waiting.
Can’t force the wave, can only ride and respond to the force.

Okay. It’s time now.
Lose your centre.
Don’t worry, I’ll give it back.

Getting tired.
Feeling the skipping of the smoothness. Feeling the waning awareness.
Restful. Reflectful. Ready to move again.

Slow. and ready to Flow.
Take the time to find the slips and eddies. Swirling in the stream.

lightness of experience

•April 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I had an interesting experience at the jam tonight that got me thinking about lightness. Often dancing with a beginner, I experience a lightness of their contact. Often dancing with a very experienced dancer, I experience a lightness of their contact. And then there is a set of dancers, with some experience, whom I experience as heavy in their contact.

Now, I am speaking about my ‘experience’ of their contact. Irrespective of the degree of the weight in our dance, does my partner feel heavy or light to me?

The lightness of the beginner and the lightness of the very experienced dancer differ considerably. The beginner’s lightness communicates uncertainty, sometimes confusion, and a lack of knowing about using weight. The very experienced dancer’s lightness communicates versatility, consideration and a high responsiveness of weight.

The dancer with some experience has learnt to share their weight, but not yet learnt how to take it back, or further, how much of their weight to share in the first place and how much to keep a hold of. As we keep dancing CI, we add greater detail to our weight-sharing spectrum, and can traverse it with ever more ease. Being able to better modulate the integration and tone in our bodies, allows us this greater versatility and responsiveness in weight sharing. An experienced dancer can deeply connect to their partner by giving their weight, but allow their partner utmost freedom in dancing by also holding it back.

Perhaps, the journey of CI could be categorised as one from lightness to lightness anew.

breath through your pores

•October 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Dancing in a trio at the jam tonight, whist one partner smothered the other, the phrase “breath through your pores” got said. As we continued dancing, the phrase started to be said repeatedly within the trio. Which allowed us to realise some interesting homophones:

“breath through your pores”

“breath through your pause”

“breath through your pours”

“breath through your paws”

all seem apt, in their own way. I especially love the third, with it’s sense of movement (and the fact that utilising the breath to facilitate pouring can be so effective)

a good dance

•September 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Q: What makes a good dance?

A: Tonight I danced with my friend Cameron at the jam. We had a great dance, and it got me thinking about an answer to the above question (recently posed as the focus for an upcoming CI retreat). Here’s what i came up with:

A great dance is one lingers.

I guess that could be taken to mean the dance lingers with you after it is done, and that is certainly true of a good dance, but I was more referring to the dance having moments of lingering within it.

First, lingering moments are listening moments. Knowing that my partner and I are listening to each other, waiting for each other, is a great basis for a dance. But more so, the reason that I feel so enriched when a dance has the ability to linger is because it tells me that we are  closely following and playing with the flow of the natural forces, gravity and counterthrust, as well as letting our natural rhythms, breath and pulse, steer us.

Gravity is an acceleration, it has an upswing and a downswing. And a moment of pause; before the deceleration of the ascent becomes the acceleration of the decent. In the dance, we have the ability – through our body’s connectedness – to shape these moments of pause into lingering suspensions. And we wait, with our breath and our pulse, for the moment of fall.

But our great dance, lingered not just in its moments of suspension. Lying draped over one another on the floor, we listen to the ebb and flow of our breathing, and the steady lub-dub of our hearts, for the next set of waves to be bodysurfed.

And as we take these lingering moments, these resting moments,  we find a rhythm between exertion and recuperation that is supportive. The dance is not strenuous because we follow the ebb and flow of our efforts, in the embrace of the natural forces around us.

deep mind

•July 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

this phrase occurred to me whilst dancing today:

deep mind in fast flow

I was reflecting on the challenge of staying embodied – and responsive in weight-time – whilst the flow of the dancing gets speedier; avoiding the preempting that can happen as we rush to keep up; using our core-distal connectivity to embrace 3-Dimensional spatial disorientation and receptivity.

 
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