Ballet, Believing, Courageous Vulnerability, Creativity, Dance, Energy, Magic, Modern, Seeing, Stepping, Teaching, Technique
So much gets lost in translation when we process movement during the training experience. What our eyes see is not really the reality of what is happening during the activation of technique or the expression of any of our dance forms. It is curial that we see the blue print but in the building of the sensations for activation it is essential we remember the effort used to create movement is very different than what the facade might look like.
This is also very true when we move to teach dance. Training by façade does not necessarily train functionality. How the body actually works to express technique is very different than how the body functions in an isolated joint action or muscular contraction. We have to remember we are an integrated facility that functions only when we are able to find anchors that balance our energies throughout our entire body and understand our physical relationship to space.
Undoubtedly, when I find myself not having success with a certain technical experience it usually reminds me that there is some part of the energetic equation that is not adding up allowing me a grounding anchor for the proper expression of that technical moment. I have to pause for a moment and remind myself that not only is there what I see happening, but there is also the work going on underneath the surface of the movement that is far more important than the actual gesture.
In identifying the grounding elements, which very often is the standing leg as well as the expansion of the spine and directed energy of the arms, I find myself understanding how the movements are truly supposed to feel and then in comprehending that, how they reflect to the observer seeing the movement. Often, as in almost always, it is never what my mind translated when I first absorbed the movement with my eyes.
So how do we begin the process of understanding movement through sensation? One of the primary ways is to stop looking at the movement as a picture, position or map with a destination point. If we can see the pathways of movement and how movement transitions, we will more readily see our bodies begin to fall through space expressing the desired movement rather than trying to manufacture a static moment that is more honestly like a motion picture full of tiny moments strung together via a body falling through space.
Secondly, if we do not concern ourselves with how things should look from the moment we begin to play but rather how they feel, we will find that the form will most certainly follow the functionality of the movement or the technique. This is also why when learning movement it is crucial that you simply move rather than trying to achieve perfection of form before you have even experienced the type of energy needed to do said movement. Most learners hold themselves back from the visceral experience not allowing them to trust in the wisdom of the body. The mind thinks to much holding the body hostage during the learning process.
Lastly, if we are to let go of our ego while learning we might see the material for what it is and not for what we want it to be or think it should be. Many times in activating the proper movement for understanding technique we must do it as is rather than thinking we need to do 6 turns or legs must be a certain height. All too often we are searching for validity in how high or how much rather than valuing things for what they are.
And would that not be the same for us in our own lives if we could stop, see what it really is and the experience it with the feelings that it will allow? If only we could let go to listen to what is really being said so as not to lose the information during our translation. Perhaps ultimately what we really need to do is stop trying to translate at all and just simply accept and absorb what is.