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Search May2017

What I Learn.
My search is personal and a constant reminder that all artists build their own imagery and daily regimes to encourage themselves and to express the results of their search.

What I Want to Learn.
What is the brightness I experience observing dancers and musicians?

I experience them as being “on top of the movement” and “on top of the beat.” Brightness becomes an ease and agility to move in any direction with any variation of quality and emphasis.

I experience also the free flow of energy carrying emotion, sensation, and physicality through every part of their bodies.

I experience the growing of the artist as creating a capsule of themselves, all that they think and feel, and hope in this moment.

What I Want to Experience.
Brightness. I want to experience the brightness that I see in dancers and musicians.

I want to experience being “on top of every movement” with agility and infinite choices for blending movement qualities.

I want to experience the free flow of energy through every part of my body at once.

I want to experience the intersection of all my thoughts, emotions, sensations, and hopes as an expression of my world at this moment.

I want to experience myself as a growing changing melody that rises and falls through a full range of experience.

What I Ask For Myself and Others
I ask for the trust to see my strength and agility grow daily.
I ask for the wisdom to know when I use my skills for harm rather than growth.
I ask for the receptivity to rest and allow all my concerns, insights and goals to wait their time.
I ask for the empathy to notice when someone, even myself, needs encouragement.
I ask for the humility to ask and receive help.
Tim Hurst 05/26/1

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Assessment May2017

I can only guess that all my study and writing is an attempt to summarize my own life process. So I hope I can take a look at my broad picture.

The Physical
“You are leaning to the right.” “You are twisted. Your right hip goes forward and the right side of your ribs protrude outwards.” “Everything at the bottom of your rib cage shifts to the left and your head and shoulders lean to the right.”

The Mental
Some kind of split occurred very early between my right and left side. Everything I do is either all from feeling and reflected from metaphor or I control it with planned thought and force.

The Results
Memory is mostly feeling based. To remember physical patterns or even directions at a stop light, I have to consciously reconstruct a thought process of how I got to my present moment and how to move from there.

Vulnerability is a given. I throw myself into activity with only feeling markers and an acceptance of ambiguity. All research and planning is a separate realm for reference and reflection.

Physical adjustments, therapy, and instruction to remedy my physical splits and torques have proved to be only temporary and do not translate into awareness. Conscious and continuous attention do not hold for long as my feeling state takes over.

My personal attitude bounces from anger and concentrated force to total acceptance and patience. When I take on a new skill, my projected time for learning is years not months.

My Remedy
Music and dance have been my preferred study since they insist that I integrate both feeling and physical states. Through both, I discover how to initiate and follow the process of learning and expressing myself.

Every moment is an experiment to integrate my feeling and metaphorical states with my conscious directed thought and movement processes. I live in an improvisational world. Music and dance improvisation are my play and my study.

Meditation and prayer bring me to a state of hope and anticipation to continue improvisation when planning, control, and force do not work. Since I get lost in feeling states, combining movement and singing with meditation and prayer is a natural process. Luckily many people have explored this realm in spiritual rituals and I have delved into many of them.

My thought processes go immediately to metaphor so poetry and automatic writing have been a tool to explore my states of awareness. I discovered that writing is a way to observe my states of awareness and also to connect with artists engaged in similar exploration. I began to combine automatic writing with observing dance.

My Perspective
Hope is a constant. Everything is in flux and I can make small adjustments and daily routines to manage the flux in ways that are encouraging.

Gratitude and awe are essential to receiving and applying every insight that comes from dancing and singing.

Daily repetition is constant play with the many variations that music and dance offer. My goal is to encourage myself with the curiosity of new approaches each moment.

I take advantage of melodic phrases in dancing and singing to build awareness of the depth of my personal experience.

I observe the variations of each dancer and musician and share my observations to encourage them and to express my appreciation for the insights they bring me.
Tim Hurst 05/26/17

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My Dance Journey

My dance journey makes me laugh. I seem to make progress and then take many detours. First I work through a tangle of different ways of learning. Then I confront a confusing array of experiences that demand to be expressed. Knowing this process, I have the utmost respect for any dancer who has enough courage and delight to know themselves and express it.

Dancing was always a desire for me even though I would become so overloaded that my thoughts and movement would freeze. One breakthrough came when I had the same experience with acting at sixteen years old. My theater teacher gave me a Michael Chekhov book of acting exercises. I spent the next six years practicing these exercises learning to vary the qualities of movement, of signals that can travel through and around the body.

Sports have been important ways to develop an intense focus for movement learning. But I understood that my process would be a long one. Football required too much intense force and I opted for playing trombone instead. Golf I learned as a ten year old and later in life was surprised at the skills that were there. At twenty five years old It took me two years of dropping a tennis ball and missing the swing to even begin perfecting shots. Swimming took six summers to coordinate the crawl, one for the arms, one for feet, one for feet and arms together, one for breathing and turning my head at the side of the pool, one for arms and head, and finally everything together.

Singing at age thirty five, my teacher Tina Marsh would take a ruler and direct me over and over to lower my tongue. When I stopped lessons, I thought in six years I would have that skill and also the breathing. Actually it was more like twelve years for that one.

Dancing had a similar pattern. I began studying Modern Dance which I love because of the improvisation and the many techniques, Humphries, Hawkins, Cunningham, Graham, and the Utah protégés. I chose to follow the study of improvisation and allow the technique to grow over the years. Deborah Hay was my mentor and I began a journey of trying to sort out my learning process with personal dancing, Contact Improvisation, diagnostic therapists practicing Skinner, Alexander, Feldenkreis, and later Pilates, Gyrotonics, and Floor-BarreTM.

Along with the many forms of body analysis, meditation and healing wove in and out of my experience for years. Singing also returned as a companion to my dancing and performing.

After the delight of classes in tap dancing, Folk and Contra Dancing, Ballroom, Swing, and Argentine Tango, I detoured to understand why I would not retain the patterns of each form and why my body seemed to need chiropractic repeatedly. Then I fell in love with Ballet but could not dedicate myself to it.

Finally I returned to Ballet that gave me a structure, a process, and an understanding of how to train signals to gain access to my self, my emotions, my movement, and to presenting myself as a dance, a song, as a concise imprint of my experience.

Today with these writings I am fulfilling a commitment to clarify how dance works for me.
Tim Hurst. 031517