Friday, July 1, 2011

Contemplative Dance Practice

This morning I went across the street to participate in Contemplative Dance Practice at Joan Hanna's barn. This is a form developed by Barbara Dilley that begins with seated meditation, personal warm-up time, Open Space (during which participants can enter and exit the circle, as they feel called, improvising movement) and finishing with time to write or draw in response to their experience. Today, there was a children's camp happening in the space upstairs above the dance studio. Here are my reflections on my experience:

Contemplative Dance Practice downstairs. Young boys masquerading as elephants upstairs. I smile as I realize this is what my future holds. ENERGY. What do I choose to do with it? I begin to dance. And I surprise myself with more than I thought possible. More stability and balance on one leg. More quickness than I expected. And the solo becomes a duet, then a trio. And I have a brief moment of sadness that I cannot roll around on the floor like they can, like I'm used to. That I cannot take weight and do partnering like they can, like I'm used to. But the jealousy is brief because look at how much I can still do/move!

Is the baby still while I am dancing or can I just not notice the simultaneous dance? He was so busy during my stillness, like the boys over my head. And it makes me think about the phrase "Movement as a primary language." My baby moves. Some days I think he is swimming, diving off the high board, turning tricks and landing in the pool below. Other days, he is an acrobat in the circus. By moving, he is letting me know that he is there and he is healthy and I am grateful for the language of movement. Like I am grateful for the trio of women, moving together, sharing touch, creating a dance together without words, sharing our common language of physicality and movement.