Updated: Sep 28
One thing is certain...uncertainty.
I’m in the process of shifting all my years of study in yoga, myofascial anatomy and dance online so I can share it with you. While I'm uncertain about how long this metamorphosis will take to unfold and I'm still unclear about what business practices/models will best suit my needs, one thing I am certain of is – I am changing. And, since this is my own blog post, I will be so bold as to declare that I believe that the rapidly accelerated process of reckoning, reflecting, letting go and adapting that I've been going through for the last few months is reflective of a larger shift of consciousness that many of us are experiencing, albeit differently, together.
And, as the White Eagle, Hopi Indigenous leader said so succinctly in her address on Red Road Society:
When I stand in the instability of this moment I find myself asking, again and again, "What are you going to do Delia? Sink? Or go through?" And I realize that all we ever have control of is the answer to the question, " Am I going through?"
To be fair, I've had a head start at letting go of certainty. I'm in the Arts. Not much in the artist's career path is certain, not even the path. But through all the different phases of 'insecurity opportunity' my career has provided me over the last 30 years there has been one thing in particular that has prepared me for the intensity of uncertainty we are experiencing now: Contact Improvisation. While I'm daunted by the task of trying to explain the practice in words (in my first blog attempt at that!), I'm inspired to try.
Here are two different ways of describing the dance form that I've practiced for so many years:
The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.
— early definition by Steve Paxton and others, 1970s, from Contact Quarterly, Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979.
Contact Improvisation is an open-ended exploration of the kinaesthetic possibilities of bodies moving through contact. Sometimes wild and athletic, sometimes quiet and meditative, it is a form open to all bodies and enquiring minds.
— from Ray Chung workshop announcement, London, 2009.
For me, contact improvisation has been an inter-relational experience of letting go and becoming – at the same time, all the time.
For those who know my work as a dancer and choreographer it might be obvious to see how my almost daily practice of Contact Improvisation over the last 30 years has informed my artistic choices, but less obvious to see is how foundational its been to my sense of wellbeing.
Now, with COVID19, the future of live arts is even more uncertain than it was before, and practicing Contact Improvisation (in large groups anyway) is looking less and less likely. So I find that, at this moment of instability, even in regard to dance the way I've know it, I have surrendered and "abandon(ed) a certain quality of willfulness" so that I can make a choice to "go through the portal" and emerge transformed.
I hope to emerge somewhere with you in real time, very soon.
Until then, let's keep this virtual portal open.
Love and light,