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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 Unpublished that and spent a day writing about the brightness that is dance to me, to my teachers,and to choreographers and performers that explore the depths of dance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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Dancer’s Fun Learn

Two young ballerina sisters were getting their first pointe shoes at Movin Easy and I stopped to ask if they were working hard in their dance study. They shook their heads yes with a smile.

Then I asked if they were excited to begin school this week. The frowns and no head shakes made me so sad.

I then fumbled my way through the ways I have seen ballet students apply their excitement for learning in dance to excel in school. My explanation was a mess and they smiled because they were amused while their mom translated by saying that they were smiling but she did not see them convinced in the least.

My tongue stumbled over my mind as I tried to give my observations of dancers who transferred their excitement for learning to academic study. I had to avoid the detail of ballet and modern training that interconnects the body brain intention emotion hope and everything else. Those are enough for many lifetime studies.

What I tried to express was the essence of dance as the excitement, the fun, the curiosity for the next moment and then the next. I wanted to give a clue about how to transfer that fun to study inside and outside the classroom. All I could come up with was a gesture of presenting myself in a dance move.

Both sisters smiled. The mom beamed a pained wish that what I was fumbling with would find its way into their minds somehow.

I must try to say this for the thousandth time. Inside dancing there is something basic about opening to excitement. Something rejuvenating, encouraging, and hopeful happens inside the dance.

Yes we can take all that excitement and work toward perfection and toward the winning we want in our lives. Yet a massive opening happens inside those simple movements of the Ballet Barre and the warmups for Modern Dance and every other dance form.

When dancing, something says inside, “this is me.” I am suddenly here and now I am here. What greater place could I be than flying, diving, floating right here, right now.

This is the learning of life. Imagine our cells just before they divide to create two refreshed cells. Their intelligence and perception must be in that place. That place is anticipation and exuberance for the next moment. That is curiosity.

Transferring that curiosity to academic learning is what the ballerina discovers. I refer to Ballet because the study is the most detailed learning of so many basic principles.

Perhaps the most critical principle is the two way flow of learning. The smallest change of direction or attitude or emphasis or effort reveals a complete new experience that is a surprise or at least a wonder to the dancer.

The dancer is not just doing something that looks a certain way. They are shifting their entire way of seeing and feeling and thinking. This comes from a two way flow of learning that coordinates giving energy with receiving energy? The analogy is breathing that is expelling air and receiving a new breath. With every effort there is a moment to refresh. Every movement has its moment of integration.

Dance study goes into the experience of this process of giving and receiving as a part of learning. We call that fun. How this happens will take many volumes, yet the basic elements are simple.

Dance becomes like the movement of the breath as a simple rising and falling that is always moving. Dance is the study of the curve of movement that is always rising into a new movement and falling into another.

Watching children move gives the next clue to how dance is both giving and receiving energy. With children, movement is an experiment, an exploration of how to go over and under and through with the most delight. Dance is that study of making slight changes to discover the difference in the experience.

So dance is discovering the experience of learning. Academic learning can be that too for the dedicated explorer. Ballet and other dance forms build that dedicated explorer who is eagerly receiving and applying the next insight and inspiration.
Tim Hurst 08/22/17

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Fractal Dance Poems

Fractals of my heart, I have many questions of you.
I have been dancing with you all these years. My mentor Deborah Hay guided me to you. We experienced you as the intelligence of every cell. I know myself as you, with our masterful curves forming beauty and ugliness beyond my imagination, beyond my ability to consciously create or imitate. Oh yes, my questions.

How is it that we know each other this well?
Are you the art of my life?
Are you instead the integral, the essence, the endless and simplest replication of myself?

What must it be for you to vary my kaliedascope every moment?
Am I that recognizable in any form? Or is it I that recognize?

I have wanted to ask for so long.
Do I send you the lines of chaos and the filigree of delight?
Rather is it that I open my gates to relished addictions that conflict my curved lines and you register them?

And finally for today at least, how is it that a simple addition or subtraction takes me a life time and yet you form my images long before a batting of my eye.
Tim Hurst 03/18/17

My Dear Fractal,
You can surely teach me of your filigree,
winding the hidden wave lengths of life.

I want to live as you live with minute variations
of spiral and helix and double helix in to “n” infinity.

I want to shape minute configurations into myself
willingly welcomed and cherished.

You know well my mind, a master at switching wave lengths yet
a known trickster in the realm of story telling.

You surely can teach me to live with unpremeditated conciseness
while monitoring for the nurture insisted for life.

Yes I suppose I will need to practice diligent courage to ride above the fresh challenges of each wave. And I may well need to consult with life itself for assistance.

Can you? Surely you can teach me.

Poem to My Fractals
If I took a curve with a deviation by loop or spiral,
And if I repeated a deviation on every edge of the remaining curves,
Then the melody would be a filigree
Worthy of any mosque or scroll, any India quarter-tone sonority.

For my self, a flight through the trees would bathe my eyes
In deviations of intimate and distant flickerings of light
From leaf edges large and small.

My cells would bathe in the multiplying fractals refreshing love beyond my only hopes.
Tim Hurst. 07/13/17

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Dance a Fractal

A fractal is a pathway, a shape the reveals an experience of nature’s beauty as both simple and complex, as direct and intricate.

As a dancer, movement can follow a line or a curve. Since dance is a unique study of the curve, how do we express a fractal. A simple curve gives way to a loop within the curve. Repeating this refreshed pattern gives way to another loop within the loop. The variation continues until a simple curve refreshes itself with all the experience of the previous fractal.

The improvisational dancer is familiar with following one movement that builds upon another. The surrender to the fractal image is allowing loops to recur and vary with every curved movement of any part of the body. The variations then can involve every direction and every level of intensity or color to name only a few possibilities.

Loops upon loops, circles upon spirals, all reveal pathways and different levels of experience.

With the dancer, every part of the body can create a fractal dance, each unique with contrapuntal melodies and interplaying rhythms.
Tim Hurst 08/21/17

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Dancing Fractals

Dancing Fractals 071617. Tim Hurst
Dancing like fractals builds from the simplest premise of a curve and a line.

Dance is the study of this process beginning with simplicity and adding variation. Like the fractal, a curve within a curve creates an alternate contour, an alternate sequence. Movement looked at as an entire network of contours means a new reality is created. A new equation emerges that can be applied to an intricate series of variations.

So dance like the fractal plays with the new contour of one curve substituted for a part of a simple curve or line. Within the new contour, another curve is substituted creating another contour. This process is continued creating an intricacy that we experience as beauty and as a representation of the complexity of life beginning from a recurring simplicity.

Dance is the process of creating these representations of the self and the group. The basic principles of these representations are first the contours that we call melody and second the breaking apart of the contours that we call rhythm.

The dance process from simple to intricate creates the contours and rhythms that permeate all levels of human experience. The representations created through dance variations are integrated down to the cellular level. We have access to these representations that we can experience as networks.

To these networks we can add variations and begin our creation of other fractals of intricacy and beauty. Our experience of life as beauty is the awe of being able to see our part in this process. Gratitude is one response to this awe. Another response is the benefits of survival.

Dance builds from these moments of awe with anticipation of more life, more variation, and more representations of the intricacies on our interconnected networks. The melodies and rhythms of our fractals become palpable both as an individual and a group. We can see ourselves and grasp how simple variations build us a humans.

There are two different responses to the growing anticipation and creation of fractals. From gratitude comes vulnerability and receptiveness. From seeking the benefits of survival comes ambition to perfect the intricacies of melodic and rhythmic bonds.
Tim Hurst 07/16/17