Friday, April 29, 2011

dreaming of balance

"The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened." Unknown Author
My art of Patricia's dream (above)...

Patricia and I shared our dreams once again via 'skype' - drawing each other's dreams as they were being shared...

One of the images I drew of Patricia's dream was of two columns... with a whirlwind (nourishment - a green blender drink :~) swirling in the middle... books and furniture being moved... In another, there was also a strong concrete column supporting an overhang...

Patricia's art of my dream below... a dream of concern - once I made it to the top of the slippery snow covered mountain, how would I descend?

The undercurrent of the dream, however, was one of trust and letting go, and in that process, 'all would be well.'
At my last mentoring session with Momo she spoke of 'Hitobashira' - that which creates a framework, bridge, or pillar. When one dances 'Hitobashira' you gracefully enter or touch the space around you to begin, then establish your axis between poles of opposites - such as above and below, life and death, etc... From this place, you can open gateways of exchange with other beings around you (animate and inanimate) and then explore the poles of opposites... and in the uncertainty, shaking and imbalance might ensue... with the potential of eventually finding balance...

There is a also an element of stepping off into the unknown through this practice... a surrendering into the flow and / or an acceptance of a burden...

Momo's dance performance is incredibly moving, danced just post the earthquake in Japan, a dance of the unstable earth beneath us....
In a friend's garden, with her outdoor furniture strewn about (aka Patricia's dream of furniture moving), I had an opportunity to dance Patricia's dream combined with elements of mine... the 'columns' becoming unstable, the desire to climb up, while being challenged by the slippery 'slope' and the final surrender into the flow...

Feeling grateful for this practice of connection and this means in which to embody the literal challenges of finding balance in life... heart-full thank you Patricia, and Momo...

Thank you for viewing my blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way...
Lee
Music: Yungchen Lhamo
Filmed by Momo
See our collaborative dance blog here: Momobutoh Company

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

sakura... blossoming dreams


on the old plum tree
blossom by blossom
the spring thaw is born

Ransetsu

Patricia and I continued to share and dance our dreams via 'Skype'... I shared a dream I had of a woman who was dressed in a black raincoat who was stumbling underneath a street light... she then transformed into a pink blossom and was joined by other blossom-women in a dance...

Patricia shared her dream...

Patricia drew my dream... I drew her dream... with her dream woven in... with her previous dream also woven in... our dreams... dreams within dreams...
my art above...

Patricia's art below...
Patricia's dance...
While walking in the arboretum on this unseasonably cold April day, I was moved to dance my dream / interpretation of my dream / Patricia's art of my dream, my art of my dream, and my art of her dream...
The petals are falling! The petals are falling!... Today, mixed with thunder, lightening, rainbows and hail-pebbles, spring's sweet snowfall...

Love this dance practice of connection... to one another and to the natural world... grateful for the beauty of mama earth that abounds...

Thank you for viewing my blog... I hope it may inspire you to dance with the blossoms near you, before they fall like snow to the earth...
Lee
Music: Phillip Glass
Filmed by Brooke
See our dance collaboration blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Saturday, April 23, 2011

cultivating beauty



"Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." Mary Oliver

My post from 4/6/10... Driving en-route to the northland today, I wanted to stop once again in the Skagit Valley as at this time of year the tulip festival is at it's height. As I drove along a hillside adjacent to the tulip fields and rounded a bend that gave me my first glimpse of the fields below, I gasped with the beauty below me - bright red and yellow tulips were glowing in the sunlight while overhead there were dark, grey overhanging clouds creating such a dramatic contrasting backdrop to the vibrant colors... I was awed by the beauty of this creation of nature seen en-masse from above.

I was so excited to do my dance practice with the radiance of the tulips, and headed down a dead-end street to where I had some privacy away from the people who crowd into the valley to view the tulips. Unable to enter the field at this particular location as it is private property, I did my practice on the 'outskirts' of the tulips.

I was struck by so many incoming sensations of the sensual body - the sights, the smells, the sounds, the feel of the wind, the sun, and the air temperature... I also felt called to embody the dramatic shapes prevalent here of horizontal lines and vertical axis's as we have done in Momo's workshops in the past.

I loved feeling like a tulip plant when the sun broke through the clouds feeling the warmth of the light and at times I could feel the depth and darkness of the soil and the strength of the tulips breaking through of the soil into the light...
How
did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
frightened.

- Hafiz "Love Poems from God"

As much as this dance felt like a celebration of the beauty of Mama Earth, it also felt somewhat painful to see the cultivation of such beauty. I thought about that which we can see - the flowers and the field were just so 'perfect' but, I couldn't help wonder what about the 'unseen' - the pesticides or fungicides that may have been used to create such beauty that may be seeping into the watertable and leaching into the nearby streams and rivers to the sea nearby...

Years ago, I lived in the Pemberton Valley in BC at the eastern end of the Pemberton River where it joined the Lillooet River. At the head of the valley, at the west end, potato seed farmers have been growing potatoes since the 1940's. It is such a fertile, isolated valley, perfect for seed potatoes, but, in order to keep them disease and pest free, they are not grown organically. I couldn't help wonder about all the farms downstream, including ours, who were trying to grow produce organically - didn't the pesticides get into the water table and then into the river and flow downstream, and then from there, eventually, to the sea???

And so, I thought about how in our quest to produce 'perfect' produce and flowers, what is the result of this kind of pesticide and fungicide use as it seeps into the soil and into the water-table?? A bittersweet dance practice today of love for our Earth and also of forgiveness for how we are mistreating our most precious Mother...

The highlight of this dance today was when I showed my mom, who has dementia and is in a nursing home, this film. She shared with me that when she was in her teens (late 1930's) she danced a modern dance solo on stage wearing a short black dress and bare-feet. She couldn't remember the music, but she said she danced the life of a plant growing from the earth and reaching into the sky, and then receding back down to the earth again - a dance of the life-cycle of plants (and all living things). I had never heard this particular story from her past before and was so happy the viewing of me dancing in the tulips allowed her to recall from her memory that experience. I feel so deeply moved that I am following in her 'dance-steps...'

"We have a beautiful Mother, look around you now... open up your heart and sing your praises for the world... sing praises for the world..." Jennifer Berezan

Thank you so much for viewing, Lee
There is a film in the black space below:
video
Music: Jennifer Berezan
View our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Company
View my butoh mentor's beautiful blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ruminating on our dreams

my spring is just this:
a single bamboo shoot
a willow branch
- Issa

Patricia and I felt moved to draw and dance our dreams from last week again this week... dancing our dreams of sending prayers to Japan.

I loved Patricia's drawings of my dance - a series of paint strokes that to me looked like Japanese calligraphy. She shared that the patterns she drew were representing the film of my last dance - 'dreaming, dancing, dancing, dreaming' - the horizon line of the sea and the sky, the footprints in the sand, the movement...
While on a road trip I had to stop for gas and was moved to dance this dance in the Skagit Valley. Although on a 'mission' to get to my destination, I was taken by the mood and the slow-pace of the the cattle beside a red barn. Recalling vaguely the images Patricia and I created, the movements seemed to come from a place of 'body memory...'

Inspired to slow down, ruminate, and dance this dance, inspired by Patricia's dance from last week, her art of my previous dance from last week, her dance of our dreams... and my art of her dance 'dreaming with lee' (below)... germinating seeds of our dreams /prayers to Japan...
Patricia's dance...

Art, dancing, dreaming, ruminating, creating... boundless...
May all beings in Japan feel the the love and prayers of all of us, near and far, surround them.
Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering...
Feeling grateful for this practice that allows me to collaborate with others... to dance our dreams and prayers.
Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope you may be inspired in some way, Lee
Music: Antony and the Johnsons
Visit our dance collaboration here: MomoButoh Company