September 2014 sees the first collaboration between myself and Ulric Whyte (yoga teacher extraordinaire) at the Life Center in Islington. Here a conversation on a plane on the way back from San Fransisco becomes real and ‘Movement Lab’ will be born. In preparation for the event, I decided to write down my intention. While every idea should grow and adapt with time I wanted a series of underlying values that I could look back on in the future. Welcome to my head:
In London we walk in a straight line, head down like soldiers. There is a rhythm there and on closer examination that rhythm is unique to each person, however unaware of these intricacies this rhythm becomes linear and we all move into sync…..left, right, left, right……..thinking about what we have to do………left, right, left, right……….thinking about what we haven’t done……..left right left right……STOP!
When I am not moving there is something missing. I become one of the crowd. I see in grey and not in colour. I hear the down beat and not the syncopation. A friend hit the nail on the head when she said to me “dancing is better than Prozac!”
Movement is individuality in its purest and most honest sense and perhaps that is why we fear expressing it. When do we get the chance to practice ‘just being’ as opposed to having to ‘try to be’. When do we get the chance to really enjoy the moment without thinking about what is coming next. For me this place is dance. I want to notice that syncopation and break out. I want to embrace that individuality and explore it. I want to investigate that stiff hip and ask why or what if. I want to feel my heart miss a beat as I let myself fall out of my base of support and catch myself at the last moment. I want to feel alive.
As kids every step, every touch, every corner we turn is a new learning experience, however as adults the world becomes safe and safety is our biggest barrier. We find a rut which is comfortable and our body hits auto pilot. Motor patterns become ingrained and like a well worn path the brain takes the route of least resistance.
The aim of these movement labs are to break the mould and to explore the potential of our unique bodies to occupy space and the feelings that this evokes. It is no longer about inflicting choreography in a one size fits all manner or fitting your body into the beat of the music. We will create a rule that is the choreography, then we will feel what it is like to break that rule! We will explore the potential of each movement and embody how a breath, or the tilt of a head effects this experience. Having felt it in our bodies we then have choice when we reconstruct the movement. We are not reliant on the well warn rut of motor patterns that represented our reality, but instead can look left and right and notice new paths that we had been previously unaware of in our daily march.
We can enjoy the moment and not be thinking about what comes next.
“Dance as if no one is watching”
This is my meditation.
This is where left and right side of my brain work in harmony.
This is my place of ‘just being’.
This is my workshop intention.