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Dance as Network Model

Dance as a form of movement and training is a model, a template that networks the entire body.

The model has two basic operations. One is to switch focus from the micro view to the macro view of the entire person as a series of connected networks. Another is to manage the continuous networking of signals within the human system as both directed and surrendered through awareness of both processes.

To assist these operations dance uses two types of imagery. One is the categorization of signals that manage both the directed and the surrendered networks. Another is a master image that signals can pass through to network the entire body brain and to make detailed adjustments to specific micro areas.

To simplify the networks, dance offers an understanding of the sections of the body that can be networked together by signals passing through a master image. These body sections are called diaphragms or platforms. Each section has a purpose as a connector with its paired diaphragm and as a part of the entire body brain network.

It is my belief that dance is the repository of all this information due to the evolutionary growth of the human. Dance as a networking form grew from the earliest humans, from their imitation and communication with other life forms and from their insistence on communication within the unknowns of spiritual experience. I would conjecture that this is the reason dance has been able to contribute to and absorb the discoveries of every movement form including athleticism, martial arts, and religious ritual. I also believe this is the basis for the power of dance along with music to symbolize the experience of entire cultures and entire epochs of human history.

This is also the reason why dance as a form is offering so many innovations in the understanding and managing of disease and rehabilitation.
Tim Hurst 08/24/17

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Signal Inventories

What are signals to me today?
My Basics
System One
I experience everything rising and falling, everything turning, everything stacking top down and bottom up.
System Two
I experience specific signals initiating from my spine, radiating instantly through my pelvis, head, and my limbs.

My Access
I choose today which signals are easily accessible and which ones are nudging me to explore.
I choose how much awareness I can personally accept given my state of mind, body, emotion, and spiritual appetite.
I test my readiness to access every part of myself by observing both slow and faster motion.
I experience my willingness to see and feel and calibrate every motion.
I recognize my sending and receiving of connected signals as my song, my story, my dance for today.

My Challenges
How far can I take my signals today?
Am I willing to spend the time today to follow the signal and repair what I might strain?
Am I willing to drop physical and mental habits that limit my exploration of signals?
Am I willing to deal with a level of disorientation as my discoveries of clear signals conflict with established patterns of thought and body?
Am I willing to observe and respond to my building and rebuilding of my self?
Am I willing to enter states of vulnerability and certainty where my unknowns and errors are as important as what I know as my current level of skill and experience?
Tim Hurst. 03.13.17

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Dance Experiment Yes

Yesterday I tried to describe a daily dance experiment. It became a boring play by play of another exercise system with a now I do this and then this. Unpublished that and spent a day writing about the brightness that is dance to me, to my teachers,and to choreographers and performers that explore the depths of dance every day.

My passion is to share this process of delight and diligence that as dancers we enter every minute of our lives. My 15 year old grandson describes me with the word exuberance that he defines as “overly excited to the point of being obnoxious.” And I have to admit I have been that exuberant when I want every party to be Ballywood with every one dancing and singing. Or when someone says, “I can’t dance,” and my energy fires up. Or when a choreographer has only a small audience to join their performance of excellence and new discoveries about the human spirit.

My search is for a common denominator that we all obviously share when it comes to dance and music. I will walk into any storm to support every person with an inclination to dance. At this moment I am looking at all the storms I have come through. What I see are layers upon layers of interconnected experiences that are obvious and fully described in the art, the lives and in the words of dancers.

Yet to clarify the processes and principles we express, my words turn to mush and I tear my hair at our denial of the massive influence dance has on our lives both as participants and beneficiaries.

The beauty of dance is that each individual samples its juicy delights and digests it in different ways. The nurture of those dance morsels emerges as a person who is more curious, more aware, more tuned to delight and despair. This nurture is available for the dancer and for those who join with the dancer on their explorations.

This is my search, for a place we can all enter this nurturing world of dance. In my life, I follow the trails to dancers who know this delight and who enter it fully. I find this ability to enter dance in the five year old as well as in the professional, in the social dancer as well as the brilliantly dedicated pointe dancer.

Within my search, the questions and the lists read like a composite of restaurant menus from all over the world and from the camp fires of our earliest ancestors. My main focus is, how do we enter what we know as dance, instant connection of everything we are, instant fun, a second wind insisting we dance forever.

As with any endeavor, the range defines the degrees of entry. The range is from a process and a procedure to the individual experience of the process. We sometimes think of dance as learning a form like Ballet or HipHop or Salsa. Yet when we taste the delights of the actual experience, we only want more.

Entry at this point is when the experience shapes the structure of the dance. In other words, the dance becomes yours. You shape the dance to be you rather than the steps and techniques being the only goal.

Dance is unique. The entry point is instantaneous. The first steps of a child instantly turn to dance with music. The beginner learning the waltz can feel the dance within them even if the body is trying to catch up.

The uniqueness of dance is a lifetime study. A particularly interesting point of entry is the activating of the personal monitor. It has something to do with the play between awareness and a generalized sense of everything working together. Dancers confront their internal emotions and traumas as well as their external interactions.

The monitoring is subtle signals or messages or conversations between the person and every part of their life. Dancers often describe their experience as spiritual or as meditative. I suspect that the reason is this aspect of monitoring that is a personal connection with insights, anticipations, and moments of creating new cells and new points of view.

Dance and music ride the line between the known and the unknown similar to religious ritual and meditation. Structure and form are there to develop processes like personal monitoring to navigate these sometimes challenging seas of uncertainty and vulnerability.

As I describe my exploration and experiments, my intent is not to create a structure or a way to dance. My hope is to find an entry way to making the kinds of connections that dancers and dance teachers make every day.

Will these entry points give you more access to yourself and to dancing? Will they give choreographers and teachers clearer ways to state the importance of their explorations? Will more audiences join choreographers to explore new discoveries of themselves? Again, my hope is to give insights for each individual to find the brightness within themselves where dance resides.

All along the way I could say, build your connections, “Do not do as I do.” As a consummate beginner of dance, I am the perfect person to delve into these murky waters that seem so confusing to explain. It takes me years to absorb a structure, relearning each time I return. Learning patterns requires sometimes hours of improvisation and play with the different pieces of a movement. My system sometimes overloads and freezes my ability to move. One of my Pilates teachers says, “You think too much.” My Floor-BarreTM instructor says I need more fluidity as I am learning the movements.

So my qualifications in doing this study are not what I do or can do, they are my passion to find the entry points that bring delight to every movement.
Tim Hurst. 03.12.17

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A Dynamic Vision of Dance

Welcome to a Dynamic Vision of Dance

Dance and music are time capsules from the first humans. These capsules are unique and go beyond our imaginations to explain. Artists say do not explain us because everything is said in our art. Educators or at least politicians say music and dance are extra curricular activities for people who want to become artists.

A Dynamic Vision of Dance is my experiment to find the simplicity of a dance process and a common thread of vocabulary that helps to understand how our dance capsules affect everything in our lives.

The benefits of music and dance are obvious. An ice skater who is a dancer is immediately recognizable. The crowd applauds loudly. On the other hand, it is more difficult to distinguish the influence of dance in a gymnast whose leap suspends her abouve the beam before making an elegant landing.

We experience the fun of dance and music. We become proficient, even exceptional. We connect the power of our capsules to everything from religion to addiction. We label them either brain food or exercise.

We feel the power of our music and dance time capsules or we deny they ever existed. The problem is the contents of these capsules are hard to describe.

We can say our capsules work powerfully. Music and dance can symbolize an entire generation or the innovation of an individual. Yet we are adrift when trying to explain the scope of dance alone with its power to blend emotion and movement, to influence learning, athletic skill, injury and disease prevention, and a full range of personal and body therapies.

In actuality dancers and musicians know the experiences in their time capsules. As teachers and choreographers they share the content of their capsules every day. Dancers know their experience in all its simplicity and complexity. They teach it. They perform it. Even with so much clarity and the ability to capsulize a personal vision and a vision of an entire generation, the benefits of music and dance are explained away as a mystery.
Tim Hurst. 02.03.17

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Fractal is Dance

Fractal geometry is characterized by self similarity and endless iteration. Using dance, the human experiences the fractal as a simple form that varies by repeating an infinite range of combinations. Using this experimental process, dance interrelates all the human systems and has the outcome of simplifying the entire experience in a melodic form of metaphor.

Dance is a friendly entry point for using the fractal. Actually dance is already built on the fractal with its full experience in every direction, every mood, every dynamic, every rhythm.

Dance is defined as the principles that were selected through evolution and hard wired along with music into the earliest humans. Dance movement is similar to music which uses only twelve notes and is infinitely able to express in melodic statements the unity of a person, a generation, a people.

The artistic process like the scientific process is built on simple elements that are combined into an infinite number of experiments. Dance deserves our focus because it uniquely interconnects every human system physical, personal, motivational. Dance goes beyond mechanics to the quality of movement and to the interrelationship of emotion and the building of the self.

Fractal concepts are applied in dance by the use of pattern, interconnecting signals throughout the entire person through perception, rhythm, timber, and melody.

Pattern are added to pattern down to the smallest size and to the slowest speed. Basic shapes are triangles and spirals.

Signals are differentiated through the nervous and limbic systems. Signals initiated from specific areas of the spine define movement qualities and dynamics of mood and emotion.

Quality is defined as variations of initiation and extension giving concepts such as sustained or staccato, flicking and floating.

Dynamics is a use of increase and decrease, emphasis to initiate force or ease.

Anticipation precedes initiation with either arc or continuing line. The variations interrelate the processes of perception, integration of new forms as they emerge, and the process of metaphor to simplify and express the building of the self and the community.

Rhythms are constructed of sound and silence. Rhythms are visualized with shape using a binary mode made of short and long durations.

Timber is identified with imagery of sensation, color and taste.

Melody is the formation of a metaphor to represent a person, a people.

Perception differentiates incoming signals and builds awareness and interconnection of each human system. Perception may begin with the eyes, ears, nose, taste, skin, then progress to the sense of chemical and electrical modulations within the body, then may become interrelated to the processes of anticipating and initiating transformations and finally to the building of the self through metaphor. Perception may be within a range of both familiar or unfamiliar experience. All experiences are integrated through fractal processes of identifying simple forms, varying these forms in infinite repetition of combinations.
Tim Hurst 09/06/15

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Crystal Dancer

My dear dancer forming as a crystal
Molecular brilliance responding reforming
Each moment a creation revealing itself.

Yet you, crystal brilliance, touch the cosmos with your eyes.
Opening and closing eyes gifting self and every self with something beyond yourself..
You are eyes nurturing every formation within you.
You are eyes with a reach into the worlds of person and leaf and star and night.

Yet you, only you are the crystal forming your unity of person on person into infinity.
You and your eyes make union with your self or not, with other crystals or not.

You crystal dancer can stare as if you do not exist or wish it so.
Or every cell of you can offer to join you in celebration of yet another crystal.

Yet you crystal dancer and your eyes are the gate to an intimacy with life as it forms in your every move.
And your eyes may nourish your every cell and reveal each one to us your fellow dancers.

For you see my dear crystal dancer, I grow as you grow, crystal upon brilliant crystal.
Tim Hurst 11/14/17

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Eye Body Integration

I experiment with eye movements to reconcile the two sides of my body. So I close one eye and move the other. I vary my movement and stillness, I spin, I lay down, I float in the bath. I sing to activate the right vocal chord while moving either eye.

The result is a vulnerable feeling. New territory. New integration.

I have to add an image of filling and emptying myself along with the eye movement. This image is more than an inhale and exhale but similar in the wave like motion of anticipating a rise and a fall. This image reminds me of moments when I feel more certain and comforts me that being vulnerable rises and dissipates the same way that being certain does.

To give a little background, I have found areas of my myself that need to be sewn back together. These areas are my sense perception of right and left body, specific muscles along my right side, my right vocal chord that sometimes vibrates and sometimes does not.

To reach these areas, I experiment with one simple movement of my eyes that I identify as fractal movement. I begin with a simple curved line and add a loop to the line, then I add a loop to that loop, and so on. I rotate the entire movement in as if the entire shape were spiraling in space. The movement becomes an improvisation using these components and though it sounds complex, the movement becomes very simple use of curves and loops.
Tim Hurst 11/13/17

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Trauma Poem

If every one of my precious traumas were a glitch along my spine,

I would have to skip or hop to travel top to bottom.

And I would fly fast over each treasured ill so as not to see too much.

For if my eye were to hover in slowest content tears may have to create a river to mine the canal of this my soul.

Yet one ancestral movement passes through all that. The seeing so intricate, the knowing so molten, any trauma nurtured and unmoored.
Tim Hurst 11/13/17