What is my urgency of exploring a Dynamic Vision of Dance?
Every day I wake up to hear of a new discovery about human intelligence, how the brain can be improved to take advantage of this emotional or athletic intelligence, and what substance in what kind of pill will instantly enhance my abilities.
The question that interests me is when has this kind of exponential growth happened before in our history? It may have happened many times after we as a species had lulls of discouragement and disillusionment.
Most probably a leap in human skills of this sort happened as the human began to accept their new powers of the brain. Most important though are the gifts the human developed before realizing the new powers. These gifts became strengths that made it possible to garner the courage and the commitment to explore and build on these new powers.
We seem to be in one of those discouraged seasons of history. Even with all our new discoveries, we look at our youth and find more anxiety, more suicides, more depression and more addiction to substances that we rely on to face our challenges.
One perspective that sticks out as something that has helped humans to persevere is a discovery by Steve Johnson. In his book Wonderland, How Play has Change the Course of History. He connects play to the experience of Delight.
The first question Johnson asks is why in the evolution of humans, the flute preceded the invention of fire. The sounds of the flute were intricately developed to produce a scale that is mathematically astounding. The answer he gives is that our ancestors explored the experience of Delight.
What gift did humans have to help deal with a larger brain? Delight. Where did the intricacies of math and astronomical observation come from? Delight
How did humans persevere in the discouraging times when changes were demanded and new powers seemed unwieldy? Delight was studied and practiced in three ways. Two of the activities were named in language as the same thing. Music and Dance were the same activity. Music and Dance and Religion held the same purpose. First it was Delight. From the delight came bonding of the group plus the growth of observation and anticipation. Most important was the growth all three brought to make phrases that captured the sense of the individual and the group. A phrase was a declaration of the hope and aspiration of each group in their search for the courage to persevere.
What is interesting in our times is our reliance on music and dance as ways to grow our Delight while at the same time not understanding their importance. They are relegated to the realm of religion that is not understood but exploited for the hope it gives.
What is my part in this urgent quest for an overall vision?
I have a unique history with music dance, and religion. All took me a long time to grasp. The technique was slow coming. My brain would freeze if I got over stimulated with each study.
My only entry point in to music, dance, or religion was Delight. Because of early trauma, I developed an escape hatch that was a kind of surrender to Delight. I discovered a particular kind of surrender that always brought Delight. Plus i was able to play and sing music with an abandon that I did not understand.
The tenants of religion were puzzling to me yet I felt myself abandon to Delight in meditative and ritual experiences.
An example of the difference is that learning music or dance has been a process of being a stick man with jerky movements and continual mistakes. Likewise, memory was not something I understood.
What I was able to do was to abandon myself to Delight by playing with the pieces of learning I could remember from a class. I could commit my pieces to memory by connecting each section to a specific kind of Delight.
I would often have lapses of memory while performing. There was no recorded memory of the music or the dance. I would improvise until the Delight would return and there was the remainder of the phrase, the tonality, or the melody.
So my study of Delight has a special meaning to me. Also I seek to understand the kind of surrender that brought me to enter Delight.
All these things are what dancers, musicians, and people of religion approach in their own ways. I have a very detailed perspective because it has all come to me through a longer time line than most.
For example, it took me six summers of daily swimming to learn how to coordinate legs and arms and breath in swimming. Tennis took about the same time just to hit a ball after I bounced it in front of me.
I will not admit the enormous length of time I have spent to arrive at an ease with music and dance. Religion took years of intense meditative practices to coordinate my readiness to my willingness. I persevered in order to both surrender and to reach for the courage to ask the real questions.
Tim Hurst 07/02/18