Monday, January 31, 2011

kiddie style

I had a bad cold and felt horrible and was feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired :~) To get out of my 'funk', I headed to the park for a walk and was inspired to dance 'kiddie style' at the abandoned playground where Momo has had me dance in the past.

I remember in mentorship sessions with Momo she would encourage me to pay attention to children and how they move freely without abandon, and on this quest to dance freely, children are such wonderful role models!
In the last two years I have danced and played as a child as inspired by Momo's teachings... my favorite experience was dancing in the footsteps of an adorable little girl and her dog... imitating her movements and dance / play - see my blog description here: 'dat dere at the beach' (Ricky Lee Jones' song).
I included the film here as the little girl squealing with fun at the end is priceless and always makes me smile :~)

Music: Rickie Lee Jones

It is hard to break out of the movement habits that have embedded themselves deeply. On that quest, I was challenged to play on the inside with the idea of not thinking too much - just being open to move and be drawn to whatever was 'calling' me to play with it on the outside...
This spontaneous dance play is great medicine for feeling better - thank you, Momo! It is so fascinating to me how bringing 'joy' into the body (kiddie style) can effect so positively the mood and the mind.

Feeling grateful for this practice that allows you to experience all aspects of yourself... the ancient one, the child, the baby... and all the other beings we share this precious earth with...

Thank you for reading my blog of dance practices... I hope it may inspire you in some way,
Music: Philip Glass
See Momobutoh Dance Company collaborative blog here: MomoButoh Company

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

sprouting and budding styles

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anaïs Nin

On our walk today I was soulfully moved by seeing how so much of the plant life was beginning to awaken... with small buds appearing on branches and shoots breaking through the soul. (In re-reading realized the typo - should be soil... or not... perhaps earth soul :~)

I could envision the stirring of new growth in the darkness of the earth-womb and the restlessness of the young leaves on the edges of the branches beginning to poke their faces out into the warmth of the light - some not quite ready to bare themselves - the shy leaves of the willows wearing their fuzzy coats...

As we entered a field I felt I wanted to use the open space to do a spontaneous dance exploration of the idea of connecting to the plants as well as my own inner exuberance for the arrival of an early spring... We have been dancing with the idea of 'styles' this last month with Momobutoh Company, and I was inspired by Rev and Momo's dance of 'styles' - working with different ways of movement...

I was thinking of how all the different plants /move' into new life and growth - each unique and different in their 'style.'
What also came to mind was a poem that was shared by a mutual friend of Momo and mine last week at our full moon gathering... I could imagine all the young life of our plant relatives laughing, singing and chatting amongst themselves and perhaps even to us, if we had the ears to hear them... celebrating such an early arrival of spring-like weather.
The Music We Are

Did you hear that winter is over? The basil
and the carnations cannot control their

laughter. The nightingale, back from his
wandering, has been made singing master

over the birds. The trees reach out their
congratulations. The soul goes dancing

through the king's doorway. Anemones blush
because they have seen the rose naked.

Spring, the only fair judge, walks in the
courtroom, and several December thieves steal

away. Last year's miracles will soon be
forgotten. New creatures whirl in from non-

existence, galaxies scattered around their
feet. Have you met them? ... A feast is set. Listen: the
wind is pouring wine! Love used to hide

inside images: no more! The orchard hangs
out its lanterns. The dead come stumbling by

in shrouds. Nothing can stay bound or be
imprisoned. You say, "End this poem here,

and wait for what's next." I will. Poems
are rough notations for the music we are.


Later this evening, in reviewing this film, I was seeing how much more there is to explore with this idea of embodying the styles of sprouting and budding... I feel inspired to dance this exploration of sprouting and budding 'styles' again - and, would love to have you join me! Where are you in the life-cycle / season of the plants... are you beginning to bud - to feel the arrival of spring?

Thank you for viewing my blog - it means a lot to me. I hope you may feel inspired to dance in the natural world where you live. I always love to hear your comments...
Music: Satowa
Filmed by Brooke
See our Momobutoh collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Saturday, January 15, 2011

wooly socks style

"Please dance free style; imbue every single instant with the heart beat of your soul." Kazuo Ohno - Momo's sensei

This dance practice was inspired as a response to Misty Eve's post "Dizzy, Me and Maybe Even Marlene," and Momo's post on dancing freeSTYLE. Like Misty, I felt called to play music and allow myself to dance freely to the rhythms that often transport you into another realm of experience and a connection to soul. I loved Misty's dance and wanted to be dancing energetically with her and Dizzy! However, my exploration changed it's course as I had been ill last week and my energy was depleted.
I had a conversation with Momo recently where she mentioned how she often dances to inner music she hears... and I was thinking how on a quest to dance freely from the soul, how our inspiration can come from so many sources, as we have done in Momo's workshops in the past - from going inside and listening to that which wants to be expressed from the physical, mental or spiritual realm; to connecting with another being, animate or inanimate, and dancing in a way that you think that being may want to see you dance as a way of honoring it, for examples...
Today, I felt vulnerable and uncertain - can I dance from the soul in a way that is "free" even though there are limitations due to years of moving in-body in familiar ways? Does dancing freely mean I have to learn new ways of moving in my body to broaden my ability to express physically the vastness of the soul? Is it possible to ever remove one's self from one's habitual patterns of movement? Is there a difference between dancing from the soul and dancing in a way that is authentically you but may be perceived as a style?

And so, without audible music, I began this dance from a place of uncertainty and a longing for regaining my strength and feeling of wellness in-body... a dance practice of listening from the inside for inner music... a practice of 'wooly sock style' and 'under the weather style...' a dance of gratitude for this practice that allows me to embody the questions of dancing freeSTYLE and for the connections and inspirations I receive from Momo and company...

Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way to dance your own dance wherever you live... I always love to receive comments...

Music was added at home later during the editing...
Music: Philip Glass
Visit our dance collaboration blog here: MomoButoh Dance Company

Saturday, January 8, 2011

art museum style

"It is the pervading law
Of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function..."

Lois Sullivan

It was a coincidence that Momo and I were going to be going to the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Museum on the same day last week.

Unfortunately, the line-up was long and the tickets were being sold for entrance into the exhibit 4 hours later - too long to wait. Fortunately, I was able to spend time viewing the other exhibits currently showing instead.

This month's theme for our dance practice is 'STYLE' and the first thing I think of when I hear 'style', is 'fashion' and what we choose to wear and how we present ourselves into the world - our 'look.'
I loved discovering the many 'styles' that were on display at the gallery - from the traditional, authentic clothing as worn by local and distant native peoples to the modern artistic representations of fashion and also all the styles all the visitors at the museum were adorning themselves in.

Inspired to dance with a recessed light beaming up from a downtown sidewalk, dancing a dance of the 'puffy coat' style (which feels more like 'function' than 'form,' however :~)
Thanks for viewing this blog... I hope it may inspire you in some way...
Music: Philip Glass
Please se our collaborative blog here: MomoButoh Dance Company

Saturday, January 1, 2011

trumpeting in twenty eleven

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings
Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

Mary Oliver

I received a message from Momo on New Year's Day in which she wrote - "what you do/feel/be sets the tone for the whole of 11...."

On reflection of the previous year I realized how much I have missed dancing as regularly as I was during 2009 YearOfButoh's daily dancing. It was such a profound way of connection to my day to day experience in such a meaning-full way - the practice of dancing from the soul.

En-route, once again, from care-taking for my elderly father, I felt I wanted to "set the tone for the whole of 11" with a dance... thank you, dear Momo, for the inspiration.

The sun was near setting and I knew I had to do my dance practice in the magical Skagit Valley. Mount Baker to the north and Mount Ranier to the south were glowing in the late afternoon light and I was feeling the call to dance with the element 'space' in the cleavage of the open valley.
My Dad went into the hospital on Christmas Eve after a fall and I had many challenges in 'breaking him out' of the hospital where they have so many protocols for discharging seniors - making sure they will have a safe environment to live in if they go home (versus placement in a nursing home). Unfortunately, the hospital was understaffed and my Dad's care there was questionable. And so in the dark of night, against the normal protocol, with his doctor's permission, however, I 'broke him free' from the hellish existence within the hospital where he was sharing a room with 3 others across from the noisy nurses station, with so many seniors groaning in pain heard throughout the ward and many calls of 'please help me,' being unanswered and echoing through the hallways.

My Dad now has 24 hour care at home, is living in an environment of peace where he has lived for over 40 years and where he wishes to pass his final days...
In the Skagit valley I loved how when I parked at this location beside a farmer's field, a flock of trumpeter swans flew overhead, trumpeting into the infinite space of sky heading towards the east, the direction of insight and clear seeing - a reminder to dance freely into spaciousness.

And so this spontaneous dance is one of 'breaking free' into the expanse of the inner and outer landscapes, of getting in-touch with an inner joy that surfaced in the playfulness of the dance expression, of surrendering to the 'marionette-like' spirit that seemed to surface (after going through the hoops of red-tape to find freedom for my father the puppet seemed appropriate in retrospect, but such a surprise) and also of getting in-touch with the feeling of space on the inside, after so many inner emotional challenges during the process of releasing my father from the hospital...

It was so soul satisfying to initially break the ice and hear it crack 'open' which felt like a freeing of an inner expression of warmth from it's cold bondage - an opportunity to lean into my wings...
Thank you for viewing this blog... I hope it may inspire you to dance from the soul connected to nature where you live,
Music: Philip Glass
See our dance blog collaboration here: MomoButoh Company