Saturday, January 15, 2011

wooly socks style

"Please dance free style; imbue every single instant with the heart beat of your soul." Kazuo Ohno - Momo's sensei

This dance practice was inspired as a response to Misty Eve's post "Dizzy, Me and Maybe Even Marlene," and Momo's post on dancing freeSTYLE. Like Misty, I felt called to play music and allow myself to dance freely to the rhythms that often transport you into another realm of experience and a connection to soul. I loved Misty's dance and wanted to be dancing energetically with her and Dizzy! However, my exploration changed it's course as I had been ill last week and my energy was depleted.
I had a conversation with Momo recently where she mentioned how she often dances to inner music she hears... and I was thinking how on a quest to dance freely from the soul, how our inspiration can come from so many sources, as we have done in Momo's workshops in the past - from going inside and listening to that which wants to be expressed from the physical, mental or spiritual realm; to connecting with another being, animate or inanimate, and dancing in a way that you think that being may want to see you dance as a way of honoring it, for examples...
Today, I felt vulnerable and uncertain - can I dance from the soul in a way that is "free" even though there are limitations due to years of moving in-body in familiar ways? Does dancing freely mean I have to learn new ways of moving in my body to broaden my ability to express physically the vastness of the soul? Is it possible to ever remove one's self from one's habitual patterns of movement? Is there a difference between dancing from the soul and dancing in a way that is authentically you but may be perceived as a style?

And so, without audible music, I began this dance in my yoga studio from a place of uncertainty and a longing for regaining my strength and feeling of wellness in-body... a dance practice of listening from the inside for inner music... a practice of 'wooly sock style' and 'under the weather style'... a dance of gratitude for this practice that allows me to embody the questions of dancing freeSTYLE and for the connections and inspirations I receive from Momo and company...

(Music was added at home later during the editing).
Music: Philip Glass


  1. O lee!! THANK YOU for your enchanted wooly sock dance! I like the questions you are asking, I think many of us have these same questions, I do. Interesting that you are experimenting in moving without audible music. I love dancing without the music!!! Soooo freeing. The Dizzy dance i posted was the first one i filmed with the music. And this was a different way to experiment and play. i hope you are feeling much better now. From your dance it appears that you are now 'healed'. bless...m.

  2. As always Lee, thank you for your practice, for sharing it, for your questions and dedication to seeking insight and growth in your life/dance. So glad you are feeling better!
    I will comment with what I observe and reflect upon in witnessing this "woolysocks-undertheweather" dance.....There is definitely a rhythm here--or series of rhythms....a pattern in your movement irrespective of the music and your choice of music accents it. My first impression is of the relative shadowy nature of this, the floaty flowing nature of your motions. the wide use of the space -- yet remaining within the frame and oriented toward the camera aperture (perhaps a habitual function of our vast experience self-filming?)....most prominent to me are the choices you made for edits/cuts to the footage...quite a large number of them...that have me wondering what happened during the spaces "In Between" the clips we see? why did you remove those? are they the parts that-- in your opinion- were not "imbued with the heartbeat of your soul?"...watching for me is like there are "gaps" in your revelation to the witness (me/us)...there are parts still hidden...thus an effect of mystery, enchantment, even a lonely, isolation, longing or WabiSabi style here--a feeling in me of selectivity in being welcomed. It is something i experienced a great deal of in Japan. There is a very clear distinction between self & other that sometimes cracks a bit, yet often retains conscious composition like the mind created boundary existing even when pressed right up next to another body in a crowded subway. Do you see any of these things too? it is this selectivity/choice that creates STYLE is it not? Is "FREEstyle" freedom from conscious choices? from habitual subconscious choices? is it simply awareness & acceptance of all of it? Perhaps. How can an instant NOT be imbued with the heartbeat of your soul???

  3. thank you, misty eve! i have only danced a few dances in the past with music accompaniment for my practices... i was listening specifically to inner 'music' rather than inner 'feeling' here... and i am glad to hear my questions resonated as we share the practice :~)
    momo - your comments on our dances allow us all to learn and evolve - thank you! yes, in retrospect i think i was feeling isolated in this dance after illness and my feelings of vulnerability probably heightened that experience of staying 'separate.'
    this was made from 2 dances of over 5 mins each - in reviewing the first i realized i was filming without an upper body for most of it :~)... the second re-do i felt was too long (i try to keep the films to about 3 mins)... yes, i cut out parts that as you said seemed not imbued with soul... thank you for such an important reminder - that every instant IS imbued with the heartbeat of the soul no matter what it looks like - aesthetically or not!! looking forward to the continuing journey... with gratitude...

  4. leela, you continue to be an inspiration for me in your courage to be open and share so much...thank you...I think we learn so much about other Styles sharing the practice. It is through other viewpoints that are outside of my normal patterns I am finding true creativity.

  5. thank you!! the questions that you are asking are so potent and true
    in your dance i feel a pensive energy, a search for something
    dancing freestyle quest?
    i think it would be interesting to see this dance without recorded music; so i could imagine your inner music. . .
    the name wooly socks seems to fit the style perfectly to me.

  6. when i watch you dance on your videos i feel like i am looking into the mirror. this dance... where you are encased in a house like box with flat and smooth walls that intersect and physically support your natural flow. as well as the videos of your out of doors, where the wind and ether whirls your arms up up and away. i live in port townsend... i would love to find more spaces where i can dance... e-mail: