I’ve been in the studio with (Alex)andra Taylor Dance as we prepare for an upcoming performance in November. We have been playing around with the idea of “absorbing” each other in our improvisations. I find this sped up version of our improv warm-up playful and inspiring. We have a great connection to each other even when we are simply doing our own thing, and eventually we all find our way back to the group.
This weekend, At CPR, Center for Performing Research, in Williamsburg, SUNY Brockport dance alumni are presenting new work in a show entitled Revisited.
Marisa Ballaro, a dear friend of mine, and a Certified Personal Trainer, has choreographed a short piece using the music of the band, wakos (wise and kind old souls). It’s part of a larger process that will involve a live performance with the band and aerialists at The Muse in Williamsburg.
I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and can’t wait to see where it leads us. It is so refreshing to be dancing and doing something that I truly enjoy. With the craziness of the city and struggling to get through each day, it is a fantastic reminder of why I choose to live in this city and live this life.
As an alum of The Ohio State University I would love to see all of us Ohioans living here in NY get together to do something similar. It’s always good to be creating and collaborating with your peers!
Recently in rehearsal with Marisa Ballaro, we were discussing the ever importance of focus.
Focus changes how we perceive what we are seeing, what we are feeling, and what we see when we watch it. It’s amazing to me what a difference it makes in someone’s dancing when they have an active focus. It becomes more intentional, more committed, even more full bodied- even if the only thing they change is really seeing whatever is in their view. It’s exhilarating to watch a dancer who is fully aware of her surroundings, of the other dancers, of the audience. It is a point of engagement.
focus: n., a center of activity, attraction, or attention. Also, a point of concentration.
Focus brings purpose to a dance. It gives the dancer a purpose, something to convey to the viewer.
It’s no coincidence that focus is one of the principles of the Pilates Method. What a difference exercising with full awareness of what you are doing makes to the overall experience and effect. The eyes can be thought of as a major link to the mind body connection which is so important when exercising or doing any type of movement. The body is instinctively smart and by letting the mind become more involved in what the body is doing, you give it a chance to do what it naturally wants to do, making movement easier and more efficient.
Thinking about the gravity of it’s involvement in dance and movement made me think about how this can translate into everyday life. Every type of action or goal needs an underlying focus. As simple as this may be, I think sometimes I forget about the main goal and go through the motions of what I think I should be doing at that moment, whether its with my friends and family or with my career or with a stranger on the street. So often I find myself walking down the streets of new york city completely blurring everything around me, stuck in my interior thoughts. I usually get my motivation and inspiration for ideas just by watching the people around me so it’s no wonder that I give myself a hard time for not always paying attention. How much have I been missing?