Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Ever since I was little, I’ve always been a copy cat. Just ask my older sister. I learn best from watching other people and trying on their clothes, their ideas, their movements. I find much inspiration from work that’s been copied. Whether its a mash up, a collage, a pastiche, a remix, a mixtape, a photocopied ‘zine, I’m inspired by the magic of anything involving the process of copy, cut, and paste.
For the styles project, I’ve projected images and shamelessly danced with the styles of other members of MomoButoh company.
Copying another’s style in this way may seem absurd. I could never really copy the dance of Momo or Lee or Rev or Carolyn no matter how hard I tried.
Still, when I dance with you, and try on your style, something appears in the dance as unique, distinct, original and authentic. In my awkward attempts to look like you, to mimic your moves, to dance your dance, an original style peeks through. My original voice can’t help but sing loud and clear when I copy you.
And when I appear in your style, I get out of my own way. Style becomes the container for the singular voice I may not have known that I had.
In this way, I participate in your act of creation and you in mine.
Style becomes the container where I can create. Even when the style is copied.
In container of your style I get a chance show up as real.
Camera by Heidi Madsen Music for Violin by Liz Landis
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
music: the rachels
And hurry as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anaïs Nin
Monday, January 24, 2011
I felt a sense of emerging and renewal as I used the scarf; exploring yet another style.
This location is a very powerful one; this river runs deep and fast. I see in the water such a strong metaphor for life. Starting slowly as a snowflake in the mountainous heights, then melting, first as a trickle and then rapidly gaining volume and momentum until you are rushing down a wide channel, and then finally slowing down as you head out into the almost infinite and renewing cycle of the ocean.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A couple days ago I met Momo for a session. She pointed out some of the elements of my own personal style, such as preferring very outdoorsy locations and flowing motions. I find it is true that I tend to follow a pattern in my dance, which is a bit ironic because I started butoh to break out of old patterns. So I can see the wisdom in challenging ourselves to try new styles. To break out of old patterns, to learn new gifts to incorporate in the dance and in life, to foster creativity and innovation.
In this dance with Momo we tried several different styles, for example my usual flowing one to more linear staccato movements. Besides learning some new styles I had a lot of fun with this one.
Many thanks to Momo and to Kazuo Ohno.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Today MomoButoh Dance Company met on a conference call to discuss our process, challenges and breakthroughs since beginning this YearOfCo11aboration on 11/11/10. We also brainstormed ideas for our current project: The Styles. We agreed that it would be a beneficial practice to enter collaborative dialogue with one another by responding with our dances & blog articles to other member's prior stories, dances, poems, images, etc. Although the dance I share here was done before our discussion today, it coincidentally happened in the same location on the same day just an hour or so before Lee Atwell filmed & was inspired to dance about Style. I did not know that she had be there till afterwards. So, it leaves me wondering whether my "aesthetic responses" to these exact same costumes, style and spaces here were influenced by Lee's prior presence and dance here. In any case, this all makes me smile and feel somehow connected and naturally in the company of MomoButoh.
Kazuo Ohno used the term "FreeStyle" very often when instructing us in butoh dance at his studio (photos here of Momo dancing "freestyle" in the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio by Nobuko Shiga).
Saturday, January 1, 2011
While walking around Stanley Park shortly after the New Year, I could not help but notice the presence of all of The Elements in large quantity.
Deanna and I started the afternoon strolling about amongst the thousands of huge Douglas-fir, Western Red cedar, Western Hemlock, and Sitka Spruce trees. We are grateful that in such a large bustling city as Vancouver there is still an enclave for these magnificent beings. I felt as I normally do in forest humbled yet protected by their presence. And we could feel their effect in the Air, how they enrich it and it seems easier to breathe underneath them.
Then as we walked along the seawall, Water and Space became very evident. The wide open Space above Burrard Inlet and English Bay made it impossible not to draw our eyes to the Mountains and Islands beyond. The huge icicles hanging off of cliffs were a beautiful blend of Water and Earth.
Then, near the end of our hike, the Fire of the setting Sun combined with all the other Elements and this spontaneous dance offering is what happened...
And as we start another year I'd like to share a little bit about what butoh has done for me.
A year ago I had never even heard of butoh. And then I met Momo on Facebook, she was my 11th Facebook friend (true story!). I was fascinated by the freedom of expression and loss of self-consiousness that Momo exhibits strongly. And the way it is in tune with nature and one's environment. You see, I have always had stage fright since quite young and until I started butoh practice I would've been mortified to dance like this in front of other people. Although I had done a kind of private dance for years while by myself in the wilderness. So I decided it would be therepeudic for my stage fright to study or at least try butoh.
And from my very first session with Momo I could see there was great energy to be found from within myself, and since then I have wanted to keep tapping into that. And with continued practice I am also learning to draw from the energy of things and beings around or "without" me. Thank you Momo for helping me do this! It has become clear to me that butoh has done more for me than just help me overcome stage fright.
Now I feel much freer, much more in touch with myself and with other beings and also the Elements and environment around me. Learning to be more creative and losing fear and gaining new insights over time. I am looking forward to continued exploration and expression in the coming year and am grateful to be sharing these gifts with all of you and the rest of the world too!
My life has been in a state of transition for quite awhile now, and it continues to do so. My entire family is settling new roots in vastly different areas as I say goodbye to my childhood home and a huge chapter of my life.
Trains and birds have been everywhere! Calling me on to transformation, to the next place, to the next phase in my journey.
On 1/1/11 New Year’s Day I was blessed to share a very scared dance in Space.
I was on my way to the park near my home, but to my surprise it was closed. No matter, I was determined to be with mother nature and dance with her. . ..
Outside of the gates I found myself drawn to a tree. I later realized this tree was hurting- it had a huge gash and there was trash around it. I cleaned up the area, burned sage and danced with the tree as I sent my energy and love to the universe. Before I knew it I was in trancedance and a bellowing song came out of me:
“I am the Earth and All she contains” This is the song we sing for the Mother Archetype. Mother Earth. I felt I was transformed and with her in dance and in space. I felt her pain… heavy… the palpable sense of preparing for future battles to come. I felt love. I sank into the earth and we held each other. I ended by giving many offerings and thanks.
*I would like to take this time to express how deeply grateful I am for this soulful transformative practice. How thankful I am for ALL of the ELEMNETS and the blessing of being able to dance them all. A very deep thank you to our beloved MoMo and ALL of you. . . what a beautiful thing we have here! I am absolutely humbled by it. **
A few days later I finally allowed myself to begin the process of saying goodbye to everyone and everything in Virginia. My sweet lover who has helped me to grow, my friends, family, and chosen family whom have all left. . .
I was overcome with heaviness and grief, but suddenly I knew immediately what to do. I drove myself to Byrd Park where I often rehearsed outdoors with soulsisters in theatre. There are many birds that inhabit that area. .. something just told me to go see the geese that I have had such a fondness of. As soon as I reached the water I began to sob--- AND THEN! A circle of ducks surrounded me. It was as if they had been waiting for me. They surrounded me and breathed. All talking, all squawking. Comforting me.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. They seemed to say. I was overcome with joy and danced with and for them, the water, gloomy grey sky and rain, all washing over me.
I danced heavily with an iron handrail, it seemed to become The Creator who was truly holding me up in life and in dance.I then came upon a sign- the geese that had once populated this park had been removed after complaints about overpopulation and waste management. My duck friends then led me to the one lone grey goose left in the entire park. We stared at each other for a long, long time. I sent her love, power, and comfort. I received the same.
She was not alone, and neither am I.
Happy 2011 with Love~~~
your inky red wisdom
your slashes and dashes
come join me
fierce editor come gobble and belch
versions of monsters
mooses turned rabid
in ravaging heat
(shy sputtering outline of darkness
stiff hunching back bearing boulders)
clumsy lurches and churning
gurgling belly in bunches
breakfast for your greedy
heat reaching through glass
feast on leftover
wordy dead wishes
with hot tongued kisses
kindly return my misspellings to ash