Sometimes when I watch dance i see bodies moving from here to there. It may take me a while to orient to the emotions and the energy of the dance and the dancers.
It helps that I know the delight the dancer carries into their dance. The delight is not a feeling that comes and goes. The dancer’s delight I know as a way of navigating through movements, attitudes, emotions, plans, and errors.
Navigation sounds like a huge task. In practice, dance has a way of simplifying everything. The dancer’s delight is moving energy. Dance training is simply to learn step by step how to move energy through the entire person.
The body is only the vehicle. The pathways, the shaping of space, the rhythms, these are the ways of playing with energy.
The body can be compared to clay. The potter shapes and responds to the ever changing curves in the clay. The dancer of course is unique because their clay is living, breathing, sensing, and growing.
Energy is the first image of a Ballet class no matter what age. Moving energy from toe to top of the head connects the entire body at once. From this simple beginning comes the complexity and the beauty of dancers of all kinds.
Like dancing, energy is not an “it” to use. Energy is living and growing every moment. The person who enters dance chooses to enter that living and growing process.
I have throughout my life been nagged by the question, “What’s all this life for?” When I enter dance, the question erases because my full attention, all my brain and body power must be directed toward the energy that insists on growing or languishing.
And when delight is involved, it is obvious when I choose to be discouraged rather than engaged in growing energy. Besides, when the choice is letting enegy slip away, I can not resist getting with the program.
Tim Hurst 06/30/18