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What’s a Tree to You?

I saw time lapse photography of a tree seed sprouting and growing into a seedling.

The roots spread down, then out the sides.
The sprout formed at the top of the seed and nudged its way through the earth’s crust.
Growing straight up, a curved frond formed and from that two leaves formed.

This is the moment that woke me up. The frond went into a waving motion to unfurl the leaves.

Wait a minute? Does this mean that the tree is waving while it is growing.

I thought of a tree as a tree. A standing and stationary thing that I looked at.
I know they change by changing color, losing leaves. I know that in Spring their new green is fresh and surprising.

But every moment a new tree? How could I have missed that?

Oh my, my. Do I think of myself and you like a tree? Something stationary.
If I really you were a fresh new group of cells every so many hours….how many hours is that?
Tim Hurst k05/13/18

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Tree One and Two Poem

Tree One
Does the tree nuzzle the breeze like the breeze nuzzles the tree?

Does the tree love me like I love the tree?

Tree Two
Does the fresh new sprout squeal like the child meeting the air for the first time?

Does the trunk of the tree celebrate each new branch?

Do I even know the branches I grow?
Tim Hurst 05/13/18

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Our Legacy Dance

Our Legacy
What is the legacy of each generation of human life? There are three that are basic to promoting healthy and vibrant community and individual life.

One is the will to live. One is delight in living and learning. One is the willingness to heal the physical and emotional trauma of confronting our limitations and challenges.

Each generation takes responsibility for transferring these three basics of life to the young and to the community. In our culture, we insist that the young find their own way of defining their character and their vocation.

The result is waves of anxiety, depression, and addiction. The solutions we are offered give competing approaches to survival that often provide results with as much harm as help

What Do We Have in Common?
My interest is in finding where the three basics of life have made the most impact upon us as humans.

One assumption I make is that along side our necessity for survival and competition is an equal force toward the three basics of a will to live, the delight for growing, and a willingness of the entire system to face the challenges with regeneration and healing.

I have chosen the similarities of dance, music, and religion because they were seen by early humans as one and the same experience. All of them addressed the three basics of life and all were performed as one event. From them grew rituals and healings that were clear capsules of the community life.

The importance of these events gave us a way of marking the growth of the community and the place each individual took within the community. As the individuals grew and with the changes of time, the markers and the character of the events would change maybe slightly, maybe radically.

Questions of Dance
To look at the basics of life, I begin simply by looking at the dancer’s experience. Dance is a good place to start because it is the least understood and stands outside much debate. Dance engages all areas of the person forming a sense of self and uses many of the principles of music and religion. The obvious fascination of children with dance is the best recommendation for the study of life as a part of delight.

The questions are simple but elusive to find all the connections within the individual and the group.

What is the anticipation a dancer feels before entering a dance?
What is the delight a dancer experiences in the process of dancing?
What is the dancer’s approach to rejuvenation of trauma in both the body and the psyche?
Tim Hurst 05/12/18

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Dance Basic Ease

Today i need to quiet myself from being busy and worrying. I follow my process of slow circular movement crossing the midline of my body. I do not need the busy activity of the spin but instead gently move arms, palms facing, back and forth across my spine.

My head is networked to balance on my spine with a slight bobble as my eyes and head move the opposite direction of my hands. My hands face each other, arms easily outstretch away from my body. Signals from my spine lift my elbows and soften my hands as they travel in spiral movements up each vertebra of my spine.

My experience is connection of my entire self, a sensation of ease.

It is this study of ease that make up my experiments to find a balance of directed and collaborative movement. The networking in today’s movement comes from Tai Chi but I understand the principles from the detailed training of Ballet and Modern Dance.

I keep trying to verbalize the simplicity of the Ballet learning process. I try to trace the principles in action.

The basis is that energy must be allowed to move through me. A dance image allows my arms to float up. My arms lift from energy traveling from my spine, under my shoulders and around my arms. The action is more than muscles moving from mental direction or from intentional force. .

The pathway of the energy is a spiral traveling through my arms and beyond each finger. The palms facing activate the connection of energy between each hand.

Basically an energy field is created between my arms and energy connections of my torso that begin and end at my spine.

The training of energy movement is the focus. Anatomy is adjusted to encourage the easy flow of energy. Arms are softened by the spiral of energy passing through. Elbow, wrist, and finger joints are flexible from energy passing through their gently curved positions.

The result of this focus is an approach to anatomy as alignment to foster easy flow of energy. Maintaining an erect spine is no longer the commands to hold myself up and pull my shoulders back. Each vertebra is balancing within a flow of energy that is traveling through and spiraling around my spine.

This detailed understanding of movement is why Ballet and Modern Dance have been at the forefront of innovation in training for both flexibility and strength. The effects are a deeper understanding of injury prevention and movement rehabilitation.

One goal is an ease of movement in any direction responsive to any variation of speed, intensity, and quality such as lightness or heaviness. Another goal is the networking of energy signals that create a continual energy loop through the horizontal plane of the arms and the vertical one of the spine. The image of energy loops are applied to every area of the body to respond as a supportive network.

The image of spiral energy is one key to dance as a way to generate delight by engaging the entire person.

I experience the image of spiral energy as a way to generate new connections, a way to go beyond my limitations, and a way to respond to strains to avoid injury.
Tim Hurst 03/25/18