Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What a great day. I love school. I hate working and going to school at the same time, which ruins any chance I had of actually HAVING A LIFE!!!!! But still, I LOVE school. Especially now that all I have to focus on is DANCE!!! And Gerontology, apparently, for one more semester. Stupid upper division general ed.... grrrr.....
It was AMAZING to dance again today! We took a full ballet class (and I did surprisingly well after a summer of no dancing. I thoroughly expected it to kick my trash. No doubt my professor will rip into us soon, though). Great University dance theatre class. I'm choreographing three pieces (I must have gone insane), and I'll be dancing in two others. Five total. That's my concert average, so it's ok. I say that now. Just wait until November. What am I doing?!
I'm very much looking forward to my choreography class tomorrow, as well as theatre craft. It's great to see all my friends again. That's the nice thing about being a dance major. Big time networking. Everyone knows everyone. It's a small group, and we are all completely passionate about the art.
Modern was a great somatic refresher. We began with a floor exercise dealing with the Bartenieff Fundamentals (I'll spare you my usual educational tangent), and moved through a full class of undercurves and placement reminders. It felt wonderful! So nice to stretch again. I'm always most flexible on the first day back. I'll be dying tomorrow. And for the rest of the semester.
I'd love to share with you my passion for and the depth of my studies, especially since most of you think I'm a little crazy for going to "college" where all I learn how to do is kick my leg in the air, turn around, and look pretty...
Yeah. No. That's not at all what I study. That's what I get to do for fun in some of my classes in order to maintain my technique and facilitate the study of a beautiful work with a great deal of depth and breadth of information. I learn about human development, kinesiology, somatic engineering, physical psychology, language, physics, inter-personal communication, physical therapy, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, finding a balance between body and mind, communicating ideas through movement, injury prevention, anatomy, idiokinesis, interpreting physical stance and how our bodies are constantly expressing what is happening in our minds (whether we want them to or not). I get to learn all that fun stuff about the theatre, putting on shows, lighting, costumes, and makeup, yadda yadda, and I get to perform regularly, allowing myself to have the wonderful experience of formally presenting my hard work to those I care about, or complete strangers! It's a HUGE field, has very scientific and practical applications, and I'm crazy passionate about it. Besides, it's ART!
"We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
"Let each man exercise the art he knows."
My daddy and brother-in-law each seem to think that I have made an impractical choice (not that they don't support and love me. They do). But each of them are great artists themselves. Each see God's beautiful work of color and substance in creation. Each extract the substance , seek it out for their own artistic use. Each design, form, create geometric line, and produce something asthetically pleasing, something to be seen, admired, appreciated, to enhance or reveal the work of The Lord. Adam is a great cook. We all love it when Adam is in the kitchen. Typically, he is just cooking to eat and enjoy the physical satisfaction. Occasionally, he will make a beautiful meal (consider Christmas), and present it carefully. THAT is a major artistic talent. He has the talent of blending flavors, colors, textures, and presenting it to a grateful audience as a welcome meal. Awesome artistic ability. Heaven knows I don't have THAT particular talent... :)
Heavenly Father gave me this body. It certainly is not condusive to today's standard of "perfect technique" in any form of defined dance. But it reacts so strongly to the option of movement amid music and rhythm that I can hardly contain it. I love this work. It is almost as precious and clear to me as the truths of the gospel. I love that we have bodies that can be trained. "Teach your body a lesson", right Grandpa Newman? I agree. I'm teaching my body to move, to be healthy in movement, to explore all possibilities. I'm choosing to say no to sitting still, raising my hand, speaking when spoken to, staring at a computer all day... I want to dance with someone and experience the undefinable energetic exchange. I love to be in an open space where I can move and breathe and not worry if I don't look "normal". I love to spin and jump and bend and stretch and then settle down and discuss what I felt in my body, what I felt in my mind, what others may have seen as they watched, any thoughts that corelate to the movement... It's such an amazing study. Art therapy all the way.
And dance, above all other art forms, is my personal preference. I have seen dance pieces that have moved me to tears, made me laugh, made me angry. Once, recently, I experienced "The Well" by Deborah Hay. It was the most disturbing piece of movement set to the most disturbing piece of music I have ever experienced. I HATED it. But I LOVED that I hated it. I have seen thousands of paintings, sculptures, photographs, what have you... None of them have ever caused such a powerful emotional reaction as "The Well" by Deborah Hay. I will never forget it. It wasn't terrifying or evil. Just STRANGE! She affected me, and in doing so, achieved something significant through her own means of communication. I certainly don't want to view many more dances like that one, but it reminded me that dance can actually apeak to me. Dance is ALIVE. It's made up of living bodies that a viewer can relate to and feel energy eminating from! I have two arms. That person on stage has two arms. I have a nose and eyes. That dancer's nose scrunches like mine, her eyes sparkle with delight. That man's knees keep bending on the heavy beat and it makes me want to bend mine, too! Monkey see, monkey do. Every human being that has ever been able to move their body has danced at some point in their life. I would even go as far as to argue that, even those who could not move for whatever reason, have danced their own dances as well. The very organs that make up our intricately designed and presicely finctional bodies move in a very specific rhythm in a designated order! It is when they fall out of order that we become ill! I would call that the most carefully choreographed dance of all. Every baby wants to bounce to a repetative sound. Every child loves to be rocked to sleep, especially to soothing sounds. Every kid wants to jump and run and explore an unknown space with their eyes, hands, feet, mouth, knees; their BODIES. They dance. It is only into our adolesence and adulthood that we are conditioned to believe that the body should only be used in certain ways. "Sit down, shut up, raise your hand, walk in line, don't wiggle, hold still, look normal, don't be silly (WHY NOT?! I demand that someone FINALLY explain to me why a person can't be SILLY when the opportunity arises, so long as they are in an appropriate time and place!!! I REFUSE TO NOT BE SILLY!). Everywhere, all over the world, every living thing moves and is affected by sound and the movements of others. Dance is far too broad to be labeled as "ballet", "tap", "swing"... there are so many variances within each genre, no human can track them all, no matter how carefully the rules and standards of a technique are recorded. They will change. Because humans change. The desire for new movement comes and there is no stopping it. Personal style is added, as no two living things move in exactly the same way. So broad. Martha Graham said "dance every step". I say every step is a dance. I love that I can move. Even if I became paralyzed and could only twitch an eyebrow, I would twitch it to every beat I felt. My very own eyebrow dance. And If I couldn't move anything at all, I would enjoy the beat of my heart until the day that dance ended and I was able to start fresh again!
ALL art is amazing and so necessary in life. I don't care if it's a Rembrandt or Karly's most recent fridge-adorning scribbling; a stick-figure drawing of her mommy and her holding hands. We MUST have it. Man didn't create it. God did. There is nothing worth anything in this life that mankind created on his own, and I have felt too much joy in art to believe that it is worthless. The very Earth is an unfathomable piece of art, given to us to learn from, enjoy, honor and share. I love that I am back in school, enveloped in this study. It's so important to me. So consider the value of such a study and stop making fun of me. :)
Also, I started my period in the middle of my modern class today. I won't say how I really felt about that because they are words that I should NEVER say. The female body is a wonderful thing, but why does it have to do THAT all the time?!?!?!?!
ok.... so now that I have shared way too much about everything....