Time Line Phrase

I'm currently collaborating with Katie on a new duet that is based on a story from the Ellis Island archives. It is about a young Russian woman who comes to the States in 1905 to marry a man from her village - upon seeing her he decides not to marry her, leaving her stranded on Ellis Island. In developing this work Katie wrote a time line of all the important or transformative events in her life - out of these events she picked ten to which she created a short movement phrase. We took these short phrases and put them together in this longer movement phrase. We did this exercise because this young Russian women is currently at a big moment in her life and we wanted to tie them to some big moments in Katie's life. This video is a slightly edit version of the phrase. ;


Meditation and Movement

In rehearsals lately we've been exploring how different movement-based meditation practices can be framed for a performance setting. Last spring we started with sitting meditation and explored just what would develop if we took a sitting practice into a movement practice. Without trying to get too intellectual about it, we just sat and waited until we felt like moving. We tried, and continue to try, to use the same structure of simply keep coming back to your breath (if we're sitting) or our movement (if we're moving) when ever we get distracted. We have applied this to different contexts and structures including a walking meditative structure, one involving moving from one shape to another, and a duet structure in which one dancer is 'meditating' on the other.

What we've found is that when you put your attention on being attentive to the thing your doing (breathing, moving, walking) you move into a state of, what psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi calls, flow. This state can be described as single-pointedness, full immersion and operating with one's complete expanse of skills. This state of flow of course happens all the time when one is fully engaged, but by bringing in a meditative approach it seems to up the percentage of reaching such a state.

We'll be presenting this work in February at Joe's Movement Emporium in an intimate studio setting with the audience seated in the round. More details as it gets closer.


Follow and Follow and Follow

We've been working on a number of improvisational structures with an internal, or even meditative aspect. This exercise is about following the point of physical contact with your partner without leading nor initiating. Both dancers are trying to just, simply follow with neither leading. It is not as hard as it sound and quite a bit of movement is created. At first we stay finger tip to finger tip, but as it develops we allow the point of contact to shift to different parts of the body. This video is a short excerpt from when Katie and Carrie were allowing the point to shift around.