Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Step In Time


Studying dance is a repetitive and unruly thing.  Most of what is taught in class is technique and form, the rules of the movement.  Good dancers, dancers with drive, dancers that want to dance, spend hours in repetition, sometimes excruciatingly slowly, sometimes at near impossible tempos.  Dance is learned in repetition; is it the primary tool for teaching the body.  Repeat, critique, repeat again.  Repeat, measure progress, repeat again.  Ability is not stored, a dancer has to always practice, always fight to maintain or push forward.  For every piece we master there is a new movement to begin to study.  Repetition makes it easy to be a technician.  True artistry though, comes from finding release from those things and dancing from the inside out.  Using technique and form to support the movement rather than dictate it.  Some artists work from the ground up, building the dance from assembled bits and pieces. Others work in retrograde, deconstructing phrases, and movements into their most basic elements.  Some are motivated by imagery, or the need to communicate something.  Others are driven by the music.  Ultimately, like most things in life, it is all an improvisation, the following of one impulse, and then another, and another until with repetition, we come to know it as a dance.  

What dances are in your life today?  What kind of improvisation will you do?  What are you using to support it?

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