Thursday, March 4, 2010

dat dere at the beach

Today's dance practice was at the beach...

Not only have we had an unusually early spring, we have also had so many days lately that have been very calm at the ocean's shore. Although I love how the sky and ocean seem limitless as they bleed one into the other on the horizon, there is something also a little disconcerting about the change in our weather...

it's 3:23 in the morning
and i'm awake
because my great great grandchilren
won't let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do when the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
surely you did something when the seasons started failing?
as the animals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
drew dellinger

Today I was inspired to put into practice my butoh mentor Momo's suggestion that she learned from Yoshito Ohno - one of imagining yourself to be as large as you possibly can and then as small as you possibly can and embodying and dancing those two realms... I loved how the limitless sky and mirror-like sea reflected so well that feeling of being very large, and the fine particles of sand of being infinitesimally small.

You're not just a Drop in the Ocean,
you're also the mighty Ocean in the Drop.


What I noticed in reviewing the film is the irony of how when I was dancing and feeling large on the inside was when I was moving away from the camera to the seashore, and in the physical realm 'looking' like I was becoming smaller and smaller. The opposite was the case when I was imagining small - it was when I was getting closer to the camera and visually becoming bigger and bigger...

A nature dancing friend filmed a segment of their dance where they were walking in a circle and I loved how that image looked as though they were creating the earth's rotation. I was inspired to duplicate that feeling here of circling inward - could one be so large as to turn the earth with their feet? Walking in a circle also fostered a feeling of moving inward towards the center and towards that which is infinitely small. I enjoy that exploration of the fractal phenomenon where there is an infinite distance to "smallness," too.

I love how butoh practice is a practice of paying attention to the ordinary in life in such a way that feels like poetry to me... that it is in the noticing of the often overlooked daily presentations that can allow life to feel more sensuous, lush, rich and juicy... that it is able to speak to a deep longing to be connected to this natural world and not separate from it...

Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight, …
It is 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…

Mary Oliver

My favorite part of today's practice was when a child and a Saint Bernard puppy entered the film! I was reminded again to bring child-like play into the dance by imitating... and so I followed in the footsteps of the young girl, literally, as her footprints were so visible in the sand. She was so sweet as she would squeal, run, fall down, draw patterns in the sand for a few seconds and... repeat... repeat... while her puppy so happily romped by her side.

It was so great to also trace her sand drawings as there was no aesthetic pattern to them at all (which would be my tendency) - just random scratches in the sand...

The film is longer today... my favorite part of the puppy and child is at the end :~) Some of the sqealing in the film is in the music, and some is of the little girl, or is that me?? wheeeee!!

Thank you for viewing / reading. I hope you may feel inspired to dance and play as so many of us did as children... what happened to that freedom of movement we had as children???

There is a film in the black space below:
Music: Rickie Lee Jones 'Dat Dere'
Filmed by Brooke
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

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