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What’s Movement to a Dancer?

What appears to be physical changes of position and poses is for the dancer a refining of complex networks of signals connecting, dissolving, and reconnecting throughout all the systems of the person.

These signals travel in curved pathways that have been understood by dancers for centuries and are now studied as Structural Integration. It is the curved pathways of signals that a dancer experiences as continuous movement of sensation, anticipation, initiation, completion, and transition into multiple directions at once.

The dancer’s tools of compression and extension are related to signals that are continuously in motion. What appears as stillness or a pause is actually another state of movement.

An audience can immediately identify the delight of a dancer’s simple movement. For the dancer also the movement is an instantaneous connection of physical, emotional, and intentional signals.

From the viewer’s point of view, the movement looks automatic as if a body memory has taken over. For the dancer, there is a rapid shifting of many kinds of focus. One type of focus is from the micro view to monitor a specific skill and the macro view of the entire person at once. Another type of focus is in the awareness which shifts the view from foreground to background.

Even though it may seem as if some movements are directed and others automatic, for the dancer patterns are variations of experience that work at levels sometimes called heightened awareness and sometimes requiring less attention. Both levels of the patterned skill are interconnecting with each other, the difference is the focus on foreground or background.

The dancer’s view is more of a malleable system that is in continual responsiveness. Automatic movement and muscle memory do not adequately explain their complex process.

For the viewer and often for the choreographer, the pattern is seen as a repetition, a replica of a specific movement. For the dancer, the pattern is also a malleable experience that is varied by the thoughts, emotions, and energy of the moment. This is one of the reasons that no two dance performances are the same.

Another astonishing perspective is the dancer’s ability to alter the experience of any movement with a set of modulators. A physical analogy is a musicians sound board. Any sound can be modulated and blended with dials that give more or less of different qualities.

The dancer modulates not just speed or duration but also the qualities that bring emphasis, heaviness or lightness, subtlety or boldness, to name only a few. Like the musician the outcome is a confluence of emotion and interpretation of melodies, rhythms, and harmonies.

Imagery is a tool to assist the dancer with the complexity of shifts in focus and with interconnecting the centers of movement, emotion, and formation of meaning. Signals are shaped and managed with imagery.

Also the anatomy of the body is managed with imagery. Physically, the dancer is also working with the body as a malleable system. To do this the dancer has developed imagery within a training processes for understanding the body movement.

Imagery is often indicating the direction of energy flows. Using the image of signals different areas of the body can be viewed as signal initiators and receptors. Rather than commanding a body part to move, the signal begins at a location and travels back and forth to other sites in the body. These specific locations are interconnected into networks.

Signals move between different areas of the body are called diaphragms and platforms. They usually cross the entire body and give the perspective of the dancer as moving three dimensionally and in every direction. Each one is a major sending and receiving point for many nerve endings and flows of energy.

The platforms are the arches and surfaces of the feet, the palms of the hands, the collar bone and scapula that suspend the shoulder girdle, the base of the skull, and the Fontanelles or meetings of the cranial bones at the top of the head.

The dancer makes detailed studies of each platform to refine the nerve and energy flows to and from each area. Then they connect their access to each by establishing networks between them.

The diaphragms are muscular and give clues to the dancer’s detailed training of large and small muscle groups. The diaphragms are the pelvic diaphragm also known as the pelvic floor, the lower rib cage diaphragm also known as the respiratory diaphragm, the mid chest diaphragm also known as the dancer’s diaphragm, and the Centrum Brain diaphragm with one known moving part the soft palate.

The diaphragms are the dancer’s keys to lifting up from feet to head, to spreading the body horizontally to engage front and back muscles, to arching and rotating the spine, to connecting the torso and the spine to movement of the legs and articulation of the knees, ankles, arches, and toes of the feet.

What difference does the dancer’s perspective make? Movement is a springing motion rather than a pounding one. A balance of extension and compression takes less effort and training goes past the desire to try too hard. The shifts of focus bring a sense of delight to movement. Every area of the body is accessible and trained as a supportive network.
Tim Hurst 10/09/17

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Tuning the Helix

Today my body is bursting to reconnect. Imbalances pop up everywhere, Hips twist. Right leg needs to lengthen. T6 between the shoulder blades is out somehow. All these complaints sends signals of pain to my right knee.

First I acknowledge each area of need to just say help is on the way. Slow and small movement is best like a very detailed barre or a Tai Chi and Chi Gong movement.

For slow focused movements, I send a shower of many signals from all directions. Then I direct the shower from the spine. I shift the signals first to the scattered shower then to the directed shower. This brings the area to life and ready to reconnect.

Today I introduce some slow counter rotations of head with hips in one direction and shoulder girdle and solar plexis to the opposite direction. All this is very subtle movement in slow motion. I can enlarge one area at a time, a hip rotating forward or back in a semi circle. The back under the shoulders can swivel in the same or the opposite direction of the hips.

All of this is to bring life to each area and to clarify the signals that can be shifted through body brain connections.

Then I am ready to apply imagery to reconnect my signal networks. The difference between the imagery of a DNA shaped helix and spiraled signals is coming a little clearer.

The helix image is a structure that I can place within different areas of my body. First I place a helix spiraling from both feet up through my spine and out my head. I experience the slight spiraling of the entire helix image structure. The image can spiral in either direction, can ripple with areas that are trying to align, and become larger or smaller in areas that need more detailed focus.

A single signal can travel instantly through the entire helix and return. For example a contraction in the arch of the feet can send a clear signal out the top of the head. This is my first signal just to test where the disconnects are.

The signal follows the spiraled pathway of the helix and can reshape the position and size of the helix to fit its trajectory. To deal with the imbalance in my legs, I alter the helix to be a loop from one foot through the pelvic diaphragm to the other foot. I am then balanced on a series of spiraling springs, the helix, that can simultaneously apply equal pressure or apply a lifting pressure to one leg while moving the opposite leg.

The same applies to the area between the shoulder blades. I apply one helix from finger tips of one hand through my body to finger tips of the other hand. This helix image engages the area under my arms, connects with the T6 area of the spine and engages the solar plexis at the front of my body.

I move each area in all directions by sending clear signals through the helix image. Because I am imaging the helix as a moveable structure, I do not need to construct the signal as a spiral. The signal travels instantly through the helix. The spiral of the signal through the helix can reflect in my movement if I wish.
The next stage is reconnecting the support areas of the horizontal diaphragms. I have already connected the arches of the feet to the entire body. I continue the connections through my body with the Barre, Floor-BarreTM and variations of Modern Dance sequences.

Reconnecting the pelvic diaphragm is placing a horizontal helix within the pelvis and hip areas. I can send lifting signals through the helix and also signals for expanding and contracting that activate the lower spine and legs.

From the pelvic diaphragm I can enlarge the helix and send signals crossing the spine to activate which vertebra that need my attention.

I can repeat the counter rotations that I used to test my problem areas earlier.

Each diaphragm is important. The one that is calling for help this morning is the Cranial Base where the top vertebra Atlas can swivel and bob the head in all directions. I can send signals from the arches of the feet or from the pelvic diaphragm.

A signal can ripple through the helix to bob or rotate the head in any direction. The ease of motion is so much simpler than the command, “Now move the head.” The movement is connected into a full body network and the sensation is of movement growing from inside out.

So I have spent most of my time notating these steps today. Now I need to spend some focused time with my moving self.
Tim Hurst 09/10/17

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Dance Practice

Each moment is a kind of balance point in my life. My experience of life in that balance point is one of rising and falling, a kind of wave to ride. If I am at a malleable, agile place in my brain and body, then I accept the rise and I enter the falling.

My daily practice of dance is a sharpening of my agility to accept and enter those moments in everything I do.

The tools I use in this practice are the principles of dance as melodic, rhythmic, and experimentally varied. The languages of dance I seek to learn are first signals that are instantaneous and networked with systems connecting brain and body. Second aspect of the language of dance are images that I seek to simplify so that they amplify and clarify the signals.

The way I inform my practice is to understand in my own body the experiments and multiple ways dancers apply these principles and adapt these languages to their own unique body brain networks.

One way dancers experience is through an intimate understanding of the diaphragms of the body. I see how the dancer uses the diaphragms and I try to break down their training techniques into specific interactive steps. I also try to simplify imagery that gives me ways to apply the many actions the dance teacher introduces in each dance class.

I am aware that my observations and experiments are to some degree unique to myself. My goal is that dancers grasp the overall goals of dance teachers and gather from them an experience of awareness and imagery that can be applied to themselves as dancers and as a person.
Tim Hurst 08/31/17

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Cymatics Rhythm Dance

I am very excited to discover Cymatics and the study of brain rhythms by Gilley at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Two areas jump out for me. One is multiple signal interconnections in the brain of the drummer and the other is the curved flows of energy between parts of the brain that establish networks of signals.

This is the clear language I am looking for in my study of signals networking the entire body in the study of dance.

Another exciting insight is the mathematical models that establish curves in the shape of the brain that verify a line through the center of the cranium, a cross-section of the brain.

This line is a mathematical model of what I refer to as the Centrum Cranial Diaphragm. I am interested in the ways dancers learn to pass signals through horizontal planes or diaphragms of the body and connect these diaphragms into signal networks.

These networks pass signals within and between diaphragms that build the interconnection of awareness and the creation and variation of patterned manifestations in movement, sound, and light.

My interest is in the fluid ability of musicians and dancers to create and continually reshape patterns in capsules that represent the complex nature of the human networks both individually and as groups. This is the work of the artist. I am delighted to see scientific research discover the importance of this process for activity in the brain and for the importance to understand learning and rehabilitation for all ages and types of humans.

With dancers, I believe that the areas of melody and rhythm are keys to all these studies. These studies of the brain rhythms are very exciting. Dance is important because all the complexity of the drummer’s motions and rhythms are being created within and outside the dancer. The dancer builds networks in each tiny area of the body and brain. These networks are called on to operate simultaneously in different directions with different intensities and coordinating all systems of sensation, emotion, intention, and continual support and repair.

In order to manage all this interconnected complexity, the dancer must also train the focus to shift between a micro and a macro view of all human systems. Understanding how the dancer does all this is my passion for looking into all realms of the experience of the dancer as well as the scientific and metaphysical study of those experiences.
Tim Hurst 08/25/17

Here are my notes from Cymatics and Brain Rhythms. My minimal understanding of science and math means I must catch the simplicity as I understand it in reference to my own study.

Cymatics
Oscillation of shape and sound
Water droplet levitations
2nd harmonic. Duple
3rd harmonic. Latin off beats
4th harmonic. Latin off beats in duple
5th harmonic. Equal emphasis all directions
6th harmonic. Equal shimmer in triple
7th harmonic. Shimmer in all directions
8th harmonic. Shimmer rhythm creates a circle

https://truth theory.com/2017/08/03/neuroscience-drumming-researchers-discover-secrets-drumming-humanbrain/

Rhythm and the Brain: Superorganism
Studies of the drummer’s brain.
Brain Rhythms: functional brain networks mediated by oscillating neural coupling
firing: synchronization: neural connectivity
Wave forms above and below a line: bottom up
Two areas of the brain establish a curved energy flow connecting below and then completing an ellipse connecting above.
Complete categorization of brain rhythms

My postulate of a Centrum Cranial Diaphragm
Line through the Cranium
Beginning at Brow between eyes: Top of soft palate: Temple area connecting Sphenoid internally and at Cranial Base: Pineal Gland: Hippocampus complex of brain: Completing at Occipital Sutures and Fourth Ventricle.

Sources used to support a Centrum Cranial Diaphragm
Cymatics identifying spirals as a basic shape in all nature from cells to universes and in all organisms: mathematical models that divide these spirals into ellipse and lines
Spiral in the Cranium: modeled as sets of triangles and One line passing through the center of the cranium edge to edge cross-section; through center of brain.
Tim Hurst 08/25/17