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Viewing Deborah Hay poem

Dear Deborah Hay,                                                January 15, 2005

The Match and Solo Adaptations:  Echoes of the Self staking out its vulnerability from deep inside the silence of the Temple.

Vulnerability runs through my self as a participant and observer within your dance.  There is no catching or holding any image other than the passing of the moment to moment attention that we share.  As audience, we are in a relationship with you to shake loose our limitations that delude us into thinking that we are hiding in some way.  Your dancers bring this home over and over that the truth inside is already visible and using your form they have an excuse to be that truth as deeply as they will allow.

Standing in this relationship as audience is a demanding one, to be here with you while we both explore our silences, our screams, our darkest moments.  Of course, the demands of performance are no different from being with you daily except that in my daily life I pretend to hide my fear of not having enough commitment, sincerity, etcetera.  Actually you are giving me a chance to go ahead and admit that I am vulnerable with you and it’s OK to just be in the silence together.

And as with any journey into our united self, I need the guidance of a person of great discipline and commitment to light the pathway ahead.  And on this earth, I need a form to keep my attention so I keep taking one step at a time.  Thank you for dedicating yourself to your unique form that enriches my life every day.  Your dance abounds with all that I wish for, clarity, courage, longevity, and willingness.  In your dances, I am inspired to step into the lightning of my self where laughter and tears flow as one.

God bless and thank you and your elegant dancers,

 Tim Hurst






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Viewing Ellen Bartel poem

Ellen Bartel Solo

Spank Dance

At Salvage Vanguard

September 20, 2008


Ellen stands in front of small crowd.


Ginger and I stand at the back looking through rows of people to catch glimpses of her.


Ellen simply standing sends out beams of bright light, strong and cutting and at the same time oozing and tender.


I feel drawn to go to the center of the three lines of people in front of us.  Ginger feels more comfortable where we are at the back with lots of space around us.


I inch forward while we wait for sound problems to be worked out.  Then I realize Ginger is standing behind me and I want us to watch together.


Inside myself, I feel a tangible sensation of wrenching loose my desire to watch from the front of the room.  I step back along side Ginger and place my arm around her waist.


Sound difficulties assuaged, Ellen begins to move.


I can only see bits of her movement.  In the front row is a red head with buzzed out hair beside a man with black hair tight against his elongated head.  Between them is a triangle shaped opening that become by monitor screen number one.


To their left is a larger space before another woman with lots of brown hair.  I can see past her rib cage to a little bit of the floor.


On the second row, a little to our right, is a friend stands with a few strands of hair left on his large head.  And of course, like the last time I saw Ellen, a very tall dark haired man steps right in front of us.  He even stands on his toes blocking more visibility.


Ginger complains and we fidget a little to our right.


After catching a few glimpses of Ellen’s first moves through this maze of negative space, I realize that we have the best seat in the house because Ellen’s powerful movements are highlighted in very interesting ways through these several openings.


Ellen’s movements must be tailored for standing crowds because each move captured me with its beginning or its middle or its end, depending on the opening that I was following at the time.


The water of her hands preceded her across and down and through.  She rolled in a wind keeping her aloft and propelling her elbow, chin, shoulder across my privileged screen.


A wave must have buoyed our craft; her knee barely rose into the red head screen.  The wave intensified as Ellen reared up and back, one knee digging into the screen and pushing down and out of view.


The giant man moves more in front of us.  We shift and gawk around him.


Ellen’s one hand rises above the heads, one of her fingers emerges from an ear of the red head, passes across, up and comes directly out of the top of my friends almost bald capo.


I am moved to sway in and out of the spaces where Ellen emerges, my eyes, my head, my torso undulating with the powerful tenderness of her movements.


One arm aloft, all five of her fingers fly up, open, arriving, preparing for the completion of the dance.           



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I am the Song Tapestry poem

Tapestry Dance Company’s Junior and Apprentice Companies

Visions in Rhythm March 10, 2006

Dancers’ Speak, I am the Song
Tim Hurst March 2006

Give me music
Give me rhyme on a dime
No not even that
Give me rhythm,

Yeah, you can add a tune if you want.
But, you have to know,
“I am the one here; I am the song.”

Yes, yes, I listen to your song and
I will ride it, seriously I will, until
I know it completely to my bones.

But you remember, “I am the song.”
It is true, your song is the bones
I wriggle through, twittle under,
Take a banister slide through.

But, I will balance beam your song.
I will bring my morning paper to
Rattle the melody you sing.

My toes will tell my knees when
Your song waterfalls an avalanche in my hips,
And when the landslides tell my ribs, shoulders, neck,
And all the rest.,

Then I will whisper quiet with my heels
To let you know, “I am the song.”

Remember dear song, whatever your pauses warn,
I have already brought my eyes along
Your horizon and told everyone here that,
“I am the song.”

Oh yes and about the story.
My speak is the story.
Whatever story is to be told
Is my story.

I will say it loud
into every downward stare
And every wide open query
Tickling every soul between
My nose and my toes.

But all you who sit there, watch carefully
Because I may quirk you in a lurch
That will burst right out where you are.

I may stop and leave you sliding over the edge.
Get ready for it. You may gasp or laugh
Depending how the echo hits the angles of the cells in your body.

Your amoeba and plankton may be dancing or you may be
Deciding if you had a heart attack.

I may take your breath away with a swerve that
Rattles the dust off any of your bones
That may have lain inert for a while.

And while the dust is settling,
You may want to adopt
The quizzical look you see on my face,
You know, wide eyed, eyebrows up,
Forehead stretched,
Because I am taking you to
The land of the worlds fastest joy stick.

And don’t try to stay there,
Because in the next moment
I may bring a breeze
So gentle that
You may have no choice
But to breath deep and mellow
To a 1930’s groove
That is way beyond our
Post 2000 cool.

Easy now. Easy.
Don’t slip slide away so fast.
There is lots more where
This came from.

Oh hey. Are you enjoying yourself.
Let me tell you about myself.

Yeah, I’ve been through the mud to get here
And the sound almost sucked me down.
But you know what kept me going
Was knowing that,
“Beautiful or ugly, weak or strong,
I am this song.”

I really like you being here and
I will remember this moment
We are having together.

It’s like we have built
A nice little world here,
All of us dancing and you sitting there.

Thanks for being here.
I will support it.
Will you?

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Tim's body maps for healing

Here is how I build body maps with imagination, gentle movement, and touch:

  1. Imagine a point by point map of body areas that feel strained, uncomfortable, or tight.
  2. Connect the points to find which points of strain are causing stress to other parts of my body.  To help make these connections, I recreate the sensations of healing touch from my chiropractor, massage or Craniosacral therapist, and Pilates instructor.
  3. Imagine each point as a heat and light map of my body.  To do this, I tune in to the intensity of the stress or pain at each point.
  4. I use a healing movement from Tai Chi Chuan to encourage free movement of brain signals throughout my body.  Palms facing each other moving in figure eight patterns from side to side and traveling up and down my body.  If I am standing I also cross this movement with head and hips going the opposite direction.
  5. I experiment with gentle movements and positions above and below the strained body areas to encourage brain signals to move freely throughout my body.  This may be stretching, circling, or any movement that is slow and easy.
  6. I move a similar muscle or body part on the other side of my body to send signals to the brain of how I want the stressed area to feel and move.
  7. Then I send brain signals to the stressed area by touching one or two areas with my hands.  I apply  gentle or hard pressure depending on what feels the best.  The more time I can spend in this phase, the faster my healing.