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Dancing Beyond Experiment

My study is to dance beyond what i know by preparing for the surprises in the movement of my physical body, my intention, emotion, and sensation. I work with energy as the basis for building signal networks in all these forms of movement.

I do this by working directly with the shift of focus between making specific connections to build signal networks and a focus on all energy connections happening at once.

Concentrating on the brain body ability to make distinctions between two connections, I concentrate on finding the simplest connections and vary the connections in one way to find new connections.

Dance is the perfect model for me to follow this process of simplicity growing into complexity by adding variation.

The principles of dance are directed toward this study of focus. The binary approach takes two realms of study and compares them. I am specifically interested in the variations between more and less force, circular and spiraled movement, extension and elevation of movement, directed action and imagery for moving energy.

My study is centered around my weaknesses of trying to force my movement and direct every action and my resistance to patterned and structured movement that seems to emphasize those weaknesses.

My process is derived from Ballet and Modern Dance and informed by study of many forms of technique, therapy, and improvisational dance.

Every day I set out with the goal to renew connections of energy and to discover new connections.

I lay on the floor and I stand. I move my entire body with each movement establishing support networks to move in every direction, with different levels of speed, intensity, and dynamic quality.

I use simple movements initiating from spine signals that go outward and inward.
i vary the directions of signals to go in the same and opposite directions.
I vary the movements from vertical with the spine to horizontal crossing the spine.

I establish a central image of spreading and elevating by following the action of my diaphragm expanding for inhaling and rising for the exhale. Then I transfer this image by pairing the breathing diaphragm with other diaphragms and platforms throughout my body.

I use spiral imagery of the double helix to enhance changing focus within continual movement and intimate relationships between different networks.

I check myself to make sure movement is a process of entering delight. If I am struggling and feeling strain, I simplify the connections and experiment with changes in the size and speed of my movements.
Tim Hurst 03/23/18

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Sustenance in Melody

Singing today I fell in love with the overtones that connect a musical melody into a whole.

Since the qualities of dance and music is so close, I wonder what the connecting elements are for dance in a movement melody.

With musical overtones, the resonance of one tone fills the spaces of one note to the other. Their is a continual flowing movement no matter what rhythmic spaces occur for emphasis and anticipation.

Dancers also know how to fill a movement with different levels and qualities of resonance. Each movement, each part of the interconnected body, each cell and organ, fills with a resonant energy that continues like music through any rhythmic space into a melodic phrase.

Yet there is something more basic below the energy. That is the movement of the curve that dancers understand as connecting any transition from one movement to the next. The curve can be a loop that can double back into what seems like a line. The curve can be a continuous spiral that intertwines with other spirals from many areas of the body, the emotions, and the intentions of the person.

The basis is of course the wave that makes up sound and light. The wave like the dancer extends to a peak and rides the curve into a rejuvenating exhale before receiving another inhale at the lowest point to rise again.

Each point along the way connects in millions of ways with the next points changing direction into a fresh movement. The dancer studies the wave form as the sustenance between each movement and the sustainer of the melody creating an imprint of the individual and the group of dancers.
Tim Hurst 02/06/18

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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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Dancer’s Speed

My experiment today is to experience my entire body engaged as a whole and to review the interconnections of each area of my body. This is a list of the principles that are flashing on and off.

Advantage of instantaneous signals managed by interconnected networks

Access to imagery to train layers of vertical and horizontal body movement.

Full spectrum of slowest to fastest motion directed by imagery to make these subtle adjustments.

Access to imagery of a wide variety of movement qualities.

Layering of imagery accessing many slow motion movements within a faster move.

Access to imagery of acceleration, rhythm, and melodic development.

Energy Generation
imagery of energy coming from every edge of the body, front, back, and side.

signals that develop along a curve rather than a one dimensional line.

images of signals as cycling an exhale of effort signals and an inhale of integration signals.

Energy Rejuvenation
the experience of a rising and falling wave motion throughout the body brain, the signal networks, the anticipation and awareness networks.

simultaneous variations of speed in many areas of the body.

horizontal counter rotations throughout the body.
Tim Hurst 09/08/17

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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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Dance Like Eating

Had two Pilates sessions to introduce my grandson to an intense workout. This was a perfect chance to test out my experience of the pelvic floor for three dimensional responsiveness through the body.

So far I am playing with the pelvic diaphragm for vertical lift sending signals to both the lower limbs and the upper torso. Horizontal wave motions regulate the position and signals to and from the hips,

First exercise of pushing out with the legs, Karin Carlson helped me identify my overuse of the thighs and need to connect the back of my legs and gluts. By alternating between horizontal and vertical lift motions of the pelvic floor I was able to immediately change my orientation. Signals moved easily through the front and back of my legs. My thighs were supported and I was able to continue to push against a heavier weight than ever before.

I continued to use this experience as I explored extensions. Balancing countering actions with each leg meant sending signals down each leg. Finding the passage points on the pelvic floor came quickly and made it easier to equalize a shorter leg and keep both hips engaged and aligned.

In the second session, I asked about the tension behind my knees. Karin suggested that I pull up from the knee caps to engage my entire thighs front and back. After feeling the sensation, I applied outward compression to both hips engaging the thighs and simultaneous lifting of the pelvic floor.

I had access to more movement in the back of my legs. Sending signals through the entire knee area gave me the extra freedom to release into more of an extension. Long way to go and lots of Ballet classes before all will be functional.

Coordination of the legs brought new sensations in muscles I had not experienced before. New cooperation had to be worked out. Stretching also felt different.
Tim Hurst. 05/14/17

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Melody Essentials

Melody in music is connecting sounds from a wide spectrum of vibrations and tonal qualities.

Melody in dance is connecting movements from a wide spectrum of three dimensional movement and tonal qualities.

Melody in both contain phrases, concise units of communication that have an initiation, a continuation, and a completion.

Music includes specific sounds that we identify as specific vibrations or as notes. Each vibration within a melody also has an initiation, a continuation, and a completion. A specific sound contains a wide spectrum of dynamics and tonal qualities.

Dance includes specific movements that we receive as vibrations emanating from different areas of the body and from different relationships to space. Each vibration of each movement
within a melody has an initiation, a continuation, and a completion. A specific movement also contains a wide spectrum of dynamics and tonal qualities.

Each vibration may connect to another vibration or have a brief pause called a rest, a space, silence or stillness. The training of the musician, the dancer, and their audiences is to experience the melody as a connected unit even with the pauses. Another part of the training is to connect all the concise phrases that make up the melody.

Those experiencing the melody, the dancer, the fellow dancer, and the observer, receive the vibrations along with the modulations of dynamics and tonal qualities. The experience is an engagement of all the human faculties available to the person.

The depth of training for all those receiving melody can be elusive because it is a skill present in the embryo and the youngest child. As with any experience, if we fully engage ourselves we build networks of body, brain, intention, and signal balance. As we discriminate between experiences, we can train ourselves to ignore some of these networks.

Training to receive melody is a daily reminder of the full spectrum of vibrations available to us as humans. Music we immediately engage. We can limit the kinds of music and limit the areas of of our body and memory and hope that relate to the music experience.

Dance is the same. We can engage every area of our bodies as we dance or observe dance. Yet we can only experience the areas of our bodies and brains that are available to us. Our habits are to limit our experience of different parts of our bodies, our memories, and our hopes.

For this reason, our earliest ancestors danced and sang every day. They were reminding themselves of melody as a way of engaging the full spectrums available to humans.

They were entering the experience of engaging their entire self and reflecting on the experience of sharing those vibrations of melody with their community. Each phrase had a concise mode of communication and each phrase connected to a full melody.

Melodies change with the experience of the individual and the group. This growth of melody leads to a deeper training that is also elusive because it is second nature to humans. When dancing or making music, we move through different types of experience. Each tonality, each combination of vibrations, affects our perception of how we fit into our world.

Our language does not express this experience well. We call the agility to move between different experiences alternately mind states, meditative states, body states, out of body states, or states of consciousness. We may call it a spirit world or prayer or hallucinations.

The experience of melody is the practice of reminding ourselves how we connect to ourselves, to each other, and to our world. Melody is concise communication that comes through us and inspires our reflection upon the connection of experience, our emotional and intentional nature, and the forces of life that seek a balance of sending and receiving vibration.
Tim Hurst. 042517