In profound thoughts we are playing with who we are.
I can claim that Art is my whole life. I’m not just talking about specific works of art made by great masters. No, I’m referring to the beauty that is there in the world, things that by being part of the movement of life, elevate us.
This is clear for me, and I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by Art and share it with beautiful talented humans that work hard everyday to perfect their craft. As part of the Steps Conservatory I get to explore movement on a daily basis. Absorbing everything that happens either inside the studio, on the street, or just in “moments of movement”.
Even though most of my life occurs in one of the three settings listed above; I got the opportunity to travel to Indonesia and Japan with a group of friends. And so, I decided to embark on this trip continuing the Journal of Movement outside my comfort zone. My comfort zone being the wild beast that is the concrete jungle of New York City.
So what I’ll talk about in here is devoted to the movement of people, bodies or things, and to finding whatever is beautiful enough to give life meaning. Grace, beauty, harmony, intensity. “Thoughts of movement I call them” and I will share a few. Which I believe will be practical as dancing tools.
-Thought of movement number 1.-
Borobudur, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia.
One of the Buddhist temples that we visited: breathtaking. There was nothing much to do but to observe and just take in the grounding energy. Something interesting, the second that you felt all of this magic percolating underneath your skin, the flash of a camera, the ring of a phone or someone with no special awareness would take you out of the moment. Irritating, isn’t it?
This got me to thinking how this happens inside the studio and how it is completely up to you to place your concentration on the right thing, with purpose. From this place I take with me the art of knowing how to acknowledge the chaos of the moment, not to separate from it but of knowing how to work with it.
-Thought of movement number 2.-
Time changes by the ocean. It takes time for your body and mind to adjust…feels like trying to run underwater. How people talk, walk, breathe, even how they blink. Everything is just slower, and your body is fighting to keep its own pace. And guess what? It doesn’t work. Surrender to it.
This too happens in the dance world too. A typical day – we go from ballet class to theatre then contemporary and somewhere in the middle you find yourself running to rehearsals. Dancers today have to master all of the different disciplines there are. Well… we try. The hard part is not the physical part, but the change of mind that needs to happen in order to have this change of character in oneself.
Since the trip, my approach to get there has been all about surrendering. Every class has it’s own rhythm and environment. You can always spot a dancer trying to impose their energy into the class, the physical struggle that ensues. Sometimes, a change happens. I’ve witnessed the moment when someone stops fighting and ease takes over. Surrender.
Thought of movement number 3.
During the entire trip, one of the things that I needed to constantly remind myself was to enjoy the present. We got so caught up in planning and running from one place to the other that sometimes the magic slipped away and then the moments when we had nothing to do felt so unbearable to handle. How can you be so far away in this crazy adventure and not do anything?
Once more I started comparing the situation with dance, and how this could correlate with my craft. My favorite thought of movement came out of this situation. I don’t really know how to explain it, but when we move, we are in a way de-structured by our movement towards something: we are both here and at the same time not here because we’re already in the process of going elsewhere. Either you move and you are no longer whole, or you’re whole and you can’t move.
This was the thought process and then BAM! Without looking for it, I discovered why movement/dancing is so fascinating for most of us!
Dancers move, yes. But in a way they stay in one place. Compact movements where the subject becomes his own movement, without having to fragment itself.
So now this is what I strive for everyday. I found a new purpose; to create dance without movement. Motionless movement. In order to do this you have to be in the present, if your mind wonders for a second you wont maintain motionless movement.
So here it is, a couple of my thoughts about movement and how exploring the world and keeping a curious mind can get you places. As entertainers the least we can do is have an entertaining life. I hope that you, by reading this, found a little inspiration.
– Tamara Cederberg
Steps Conservatory Student