Friday, November 6, 2009

loveliness 315

Only fifty lovelinesses left... Wow.

Today was also a good day. If yesterday was a day of surprises, then today was a day of doing scary things and enjoying them.

Today my friends, I was released. Uhhh, literally. This morning I went to a dance class, I guess you could call it that anyway. It was actually a class in the Skinner Releasing Technique, which I can only really describe as moving meditation. It sounds scary, doesn't it? Actually, it was really scary. But I survived. I released even. I loved and hated it. It was uncomfortable and beautiful at the same time. What is 'rolling without effort'? What is 'cultivating supple-ness'? What is dancing with feet that are just collections of flesh, without bones? What is a dance or movement that explores autonomy? Or perhaps just autonomy of the shoulders?
I'll tell you what it is, it is weirdness and wonderfulness.

We did a number of exercises and explorations, and a number of partner activities, in which we physically manipulated our partner's body, trying to get it to release and let go. This was really really really hard for me. My palms were sweating, I feel bad for my partner. But letting a stranger manipulate your own body -- physically lifting your shoulders and touching the backs of your knees with softness and tenderness -- this was kind of amazing. I'm still processing this experience, the physicality of it, and how utterly different it was from the ways I am used to moving through space.

The only actually bad thing that I will say about the Skinner Releasing Technique, is that I forgot how painful rolling on the ground is for a lady like me (maybe for anyone?). This is a key feature of modern dance it seems, this rolling and rootedness to the ground. But I think I'll have some bruises on my hips tomorrow.

On a more light-hearted scary note (!), I also went shopping for a wedding dress today (NO, not for me). I was worried that this would be traumatic somehow, like shopping for a bathing suit can be for many women. But actually big poofy wedding dresses are designed to flatter women's bodies, unlike most bathing suits, so it was really the opposite of traumatizing.

shadow

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