Posted on

Brain Body 2X Helix

Today I felt the image process of replicating a double helix in my movement. For the first time I experienced the Chi Gong healing movement of counter rotation following the shape of the double helix. The figure eights of the head and eyes along with the hips travel up and down my body imitating a helix spiral. With palms facing my arms move across my body in counter rotation with the unity of head and hips rotating in the opposite way. The counter rotation is the double helix that meet at one crossing point at the body center in front of me. This crossing point moves slowly up my body and culminates at the peak of my reach overhead. My hands then fall caressing the air on either side of the helix until my hands hang at the sides of my body preparing to rise into another wave motion.

What the experience meant to me was the importance of a macro view of a structure through my entire self.

I experienced the importance of an image being energy and the shape of lines or bands or cloud like vortexes being a quality that I vary. With a micro view I am also varying the speed and the willingness to allow continuous motion to flood me with a fully engaged perceptual experience.

I experienced the importance of the image as a structure that is in continuous motion connecting and reconnecting all of myself. With a macro view I allow all my entire self to join in the continuous motion that brings me into the fully engaged perceptual experience.

I experience the image as a continuous motion internally to externally as well as the opposite externally to internally. My ballet teachers constantly remind me that signals must go down through the feet and through the floor to access the power of rising whether it be a small movement or a leap into the air. Likewise the landing of the lowering is not a crash but a continuation of the lowering of each cell in anticipation of the rising.

This moment by moment shift of micro and macro imagery is integral to the experience of dance no matter my states of awareness. It is what gives the quality of my movement an equal attention to weight in the springing upwards, the floating downward, and the landing in preparation for another spring. This is the dance study of a balance of force at each point of a movement.

The importance of the absolute slowest rate of motion becomes more apparent. My focus wants to skip in order to take everything in at once. Heloise Gold as dancer and Tai Chi Master have taught me that I can train myself to experience the coordination of slow motion of the eyes with slow motion of each part of my body. The Chi Gong healing movement is what I return to often.

Like the wave motion of lowering anticipating the rise and rising to a peak anticipating the lowering, I experience the expansion and contraction like the wave of my breathing. It is the attention on breathing that many meditation techniques and forms of yoga use to experience the wave motion within all the senses.

I experimented with taking my experience of the double helix in this healing movement into a spinning motion used by the Sufi as a form of communication with God. I simply took myself into a slow spin with the semi- circle of my hips to the back. My head and eyes followed my hips while my arms were in counter rotation to the opposite direction. I combined two traditions of entering full engagement of my entire self. The busyness of the multiple movements easily become a full person experience from a macro view.

To shift my spin to the opposite direction, I rotate my hips in a back semi-circle to the new direction, follow with my head and eyes. My arms, palms facing, moving in figure eights across my body. My arms move upwards and downwards imitating the crossing of a double helix.

A visceral experience of the double helix occurs when I stop spinning. This is a favorite movement of children who have discovered the connection of cells in the brain and body within the spin. Stopping the spin, the entire body perception is equalizing and the double helix experience is waves of crossing and recrossing energy.
Tim Hurst 09/30/17

Posted on

Balance Signals Spinning

I am curious about how the arms and head affect balance in dancing. Obviously Ballet and Modern Dance have developed intricate use of the arms and head for spinning.

One of my first Modern Dance teachers, Dee McCandless, studied Sufi spinning dances. I love this spinning because I can vary the use of my arms and head as they float above the rise and fall of my legs and feet.

I must also hold an awareness of balance in each movement, in the transitions to an opposite direction, and at sudden stops in stillness.

The sensation of the arms is floating up in the wind created by spinning. The pathway the arms can follow is similar to Ballet in extending outward, one arm raising while the other is extended, or both arms easily raised. The hands can be facing down, up, or one hand up and the other down.

The curved pathway of my arms and head interests me, not a direct forced line but a curve or as the spin progresses, a variety of curves and spirals that grow and subside with the intensity of the spin.

It is at the transitions of direction or speed or stopping that I get to observe the spiral motions of my arms and head. The sensation is of the spirals continuing with slight variations.

I play with slight variations on contrary motion and then return to simple spinning. Observing my balance and ability to allow the movements to grow is an interesting process.

I return to experiment with continuous spiral pathways in all my Ballet and Modern balances. I explore my wobble while learning to balance and ask if curved pathways can give insight into my learning.
Tim Hurst. 04/15/17

Posted on

Experiment Dance Meditation

Continuing experiments with sending and receiving signals, my wish is to prepare my attention for the unexpected and become responsive to the messages of my body, my self.

I practice movement meditations that blend micro movements, spinning, and singing. One element of dance that is consistent to these experiments is curved motion, rising and falling in every movement and movement patterns that involve loops and spirals.

I may follow a sequence but mostly I practice listening to my inner messages and making shifts of direction and using pauses that seem to satisfy the flow of my sensations, emotions, thoughts.

Dance incorporates this kind of responsive meditation at the beginning of each Ballet or Modern class. These beginning sequences are often called Barre whether standing or laying.

A dance approach to meditation is different. For me it is important to understand what is involved in meditation and how it can help me to be more receptive to internal and external signals.

Dance has inspired and absorbed the wisdom of many traditions, one is meditation. Meditation is an attempt to be completely receptive, attentive to internal sensations, feelings, and thoughts. The process is to allow all these inner experiences to flow through the self awareness without interruption. By following this process, the hope is to train ourselves to an agility in our thoughts, emotions, and eventually our actions. The results can be peaceful or can be a flood of unattended emotions and fears that must be allowed to work their way through our self awareness.

Meditation is a ritual to follow and has been associated with holding ourselves in stillness and sometimes in a variety of positions as in Yoga.

Dance has also inspired and absorbed the wisdom of interactive prayer. Interactive prayer is the sending and receiving of messages that are designed to open the doorways to the person. Messages sent vary from gratitude to asking for openness. Messages received also vary from a kind of spacious anticipation to specific insights or even visions.

Interactive prayer is also a ritual that has been associated with both stillness, with singing, and with movement. Examples of singing range from communal singing to ritual chants. Examples of movement are monks walking a labyrinth and Sufi spinning dances.

Dance training mirrors this process as each dancer develops a receptivity to their internal messages, asks for an attitude of curiosity for the next moment, responds with melodic sequences that reflect their discoveries, and then hold a moment of silence to allow their whole self to integrate these experiences.
Tim Hurst. 04/05/17. D