Our bodies speak to us. They communicate our deepest needs as well as our finest joys. Our bodies are intelligent organisms capable of incredible healing and transformation. The limitations established for this magnificent organic machine are created by the mind that is no longer capable of listening.
It is important to listen carefully to the fluctuations of the body’s voice. Every shift and alteration of functioning should be understood and evaluated so as to better understand whether or not the change is a positive one or one that should no longer be engaged in. We must train ourselves to listen again and to fully understand what is good for our systems and what might need better attention or implementation.
This is crucial in the development and training of dance. We must focus on learning through sensation rather than sensationalize external pictures or forms. If we are able to train ourselves to listen to our bodies feeling the very musculature necessary for a technical application, we are more likely to fully understand the fundamental function and integration of that function in the larger tapestry of our practice. We must allow time for the recognition and reflection necessary to hear and feel the voice of the body.
This way of working is by no means an excuse to diminish the technical proficiency of our forms, but rather a way of heightening our awareness and understanding of how to engage our bodies in a more holistic and healthy practice of training our bodies establishing new limitless boundaries that support a more conscious and soulful form. We must understand how technique works to expand the limits of what we currently think possible.
There is so much noise in our dance culture that we are not able to sense or feel the artistry within the art. We have stopped listening and have only been manufacturing the external sensationalization of jumps, tricks and turns. No one longer wishes to establish a fundamental practice to support these very virtuosic activities and therefore find them no longer able to participate in the very activity they love because they have injured themselves. This seems to be a reflection of our culture and society with wanting everything possible immediately without ever having worked for it. The student becomes a hostage to a very flimsy house of cards in which hope can no longer be a reliable foundation.
It is time for us to take time to train through listening. It is time to slow down and allow the students to hear their own bodies so that they might make informed decisions in which they become empowered as artists, creative choreographers and educated teachers. The irony in slowing down is that you speed up the consciousness for the student. If a student achieves more awareness they are able to make connections and integrate their technical and creative process allowing their practice to function like the central nervous system in our magnificent machines; making neurological and physical shifts and changes at the speed of sound, the sound of their bodies voice.