PCDCs Perception of Dance
Angela: Breakthrough: How do you find that moment of epiphany? Where does the movement take you after that highest point of resolution?
I would like to refer to a poem by Erick Hawkins called, “What is the Most Beautiful Dance?” He goes on tostate numerous reasons for the way dance in and of itself is beautiful from the dancers bodily movements, the precision of technique, creating dance that is mature, and subject matter that captures a moment in time of great importance. A particular grouping of lines in the poem resonate with me in terms of finding that moment of epiphany within the movement that transcends to a point of resolution within the dancer to create a moment that is live and breathing:
“Dance that hangs and falls rather than fights.
Dance that has reached such a height of subtlety it can stand still.
Dance that loves time, time as SENSED duration, and all the subtle asymmetrical divisions of time, and yet ALWAYS the pulse of time. ”
These few lines encapsulate where I feel the moment of epiphany takes place within movement of any kind. The idea that dance ebbs and flows with the tides of time to unfold into a language that goes beyond words is the epitome of what I think dance can do to both the dancer and the audience. The idea that a dance can be so restrained, but also full of impact through the sheer energy from the dancers soul penetrating into the universe to create a blissful moment of beauty is the essence of any great dance. Once a dancer finally reaches the mark of epiphany within the movement, they can then retreat into the deliciousness of that moment. At this place there is a sense of wholeness within the dancer in which the time has passed, the movement has been danced, and all that is left to do is revel in the artistry that was just created. The resolution comes once the dancer has left that fleeting instant where the dance took their mind and soul to another dimension. It is here within the epiphany and resolution that the dancer knows dance is a metaphor of existence.
I feel that every time I get to dance around the studio or stage, I understand more and more the reality that dance is a language to transcend that which cannot be spoken but can only be understand through movement – the epiphany and resolution within movement only exemplifies this fact.
Joon: Roots: How does your cultural background affect style and quality of movement? Do you revisit these memories to cultivate a new sense of self?
My dancing skills definitely have been affected by Korean cultural. I learned Korean traditional dance which contains smooth lines throughout their bodies. I also have learned martial arts which has very strong movements that are incorporated into dance. For these reasons I have many influences integrated into movement by my culture.
Lisa: Imagination: What connects you in the realm of dance? How does this connection transcend through time and space?
Dance is a significant expression personifying life and experiences learned. For me, dance has allowed me so many life changing opportunities as well as the chance to grow within my own being. What began as a hobby, grew into passion and from that passion came a tangible reality of dance. My personal integrity connects me the most to dance. There is no limit to integrity just as there are no limits to time and space in dance.
When I stand in an empty studio the walls shape the space. As I begin to move, I allow my imagination to reach beyond the boundaries of the space and time becomes infinite. The honesty behind my movements gets lost in the space. There is nothing I love more than to watch a dancer to find them completely transfixed in the space, time and for a moment is lost in the movement. Every dancer has a moment when they feel this for themselves. It is as powerful within as it is for the viewing eyes.
Preston: Inspiration: What is your inspiration presently? For what higher power or reason do you dance?
I am currently inspired by myself. I wake up, look in the mirror and say, “Today will be a great day because I’m here.”
I am truly inspired by my goals. I have high hopes for myself and know that it’s possible to achieve them. I am inspired to achieve more, get more, and do more with every day. Those who know me, realize my drive and can vouch for my passion in both dance and life. These people push me to work my hardest and inspire me to be the best I can be. I am so appreciative for their inspiration.
I love dancing for Perceptions because I see the potential within the company and want to take part in their progression. This company inspires me- each member, the dances, and the hard work we put in- pushes me to strive for more.
Cara: Inhibitions: What are your hesitations in dance and how do you dissolve them? Do you revisit that outlet or move towards another?
Release your weight, trust your partner, take a risk, JUMP, FLY, throw yourself to the floor, let the music move you; put yourself out there knowing that you’re being judged.
Being a dancer can be a very vulnerable and scary thing. My biggest hesitation in dance is letting myself surrender to it. We are a funny species; we like to control everything and are fixated on the outcome of something before it happens. Every time you run a dance, (if you’re doing it right by surrendering to it) there should be a different outcome and feeling. You will never perform the same dance twice.
You just won’t. If you are, then you’re doing it wrong.
Its that unsureness, that makes it scary. But, it’s also that unsureness that makes it exciting, and that’s exactly why I do it. I wouldn’t say so much that I dissolve my hesitation to give in to the unsureness of dance in anyway. I’d say I am aware of it, and how both scary and exciting it is. I think that’s healthy for a dancer.
Kristin: Development: How has your movement developed throughout the years? Does your experience offer different characteristics in your base knowledge of dance?
Everyone has their own unique movement quality. We all have a body language that we express in how we walk, talk and move through life. This transcends into our dancing in that no two dancers move exactly alike. Our education and experiences through the years can have a great influence on our movement. My dancing changed immensely as I got older and discovered different techniques and ways to create through movement. My dancing has greatly developed over time from the variety of classes and choreographers I have worked with.
Quality of movement also develops as we mature. Personal experiences, emotions we feel, stories we hear and relationships we have made are transferred through our movement. They incorporated by choreographers and as dancers trying to express someone else’s work. When I dance my natural “from birth” movement influences me. Every new combination that I learn and new genres of music I hear influence the way I dance. I believe that dance as a movement is in constant evolution.
Laura: Initiation: Where is your central movement originated from and where do you find it takes you? Body vs mind vs story?
As human beings, much of what we do in life is initiated from our body’s center- “our core, or gut.” A strong core allows us to be physical, whether it involves walking to the subway or performing the most dynamic choreography.
As I continue to explore various kinds of movement, I often find that moving from the center of my body allows for more freedom and range of expression in my extremities while still maintaining grounded support through my center.
Incidentally, the depths of our emotion are also within our gut. When learning new choreography, by connecting and moving from the gut, I find that I am able to access not only a certain physicality, but also a raw sense of emotion by allowing the movement to speak for itself.
Jocelyn: Insight: Does your translation of movement transcend externally or internally? What other insights do you offer through your style?
My translation of movement begins as something that is very internal. I usually begin with the strong desire, or passion, to move and then take on the movement from there.
It is honest and real this way.
I find it is very difficult to do the opposite and start externally, where I try to learn movement without that initial internal desire. But, I have found that in the past, some movement has grown on me and my passion for it has developed later on, because I have had to grow into it. As I allow myself to work through the movement, it gives me the chance to internalize it even more as well. Having a choreographer or teacher who is just as passionate, in his or her role to teach the movement, is incredibly important to me. This only helps me to be passionate and further understand the movement and the intention behind it, whether it be story based or technical.
The only way I know the audience or even one audience member can connect to what I am dancing, is if I am able to show that I am relating myself and believing in the movement. When everything that is internal, is completely in sync with everything that is external, I know I am dancing because the individual steps have disappeared and nothing can distract me from that moment of dance.
Other insights I can offer is to be adaptable and to never get so caught up in your mind that you forget to look at what your doing from an audience’s perspective. Because while you are dancing for yourself, you are also very much dancing for that audience and letting them share in this experience with you
Natalie: Resonance: How does music and movement actually move you? Does it resound through both the bones and body?
My personal dance practice revolves around listening to my muscles, bones, and organs. Each day is different, and each day they require a different movement, progression, and expression. When I walk in to a studio, I begin moving from the base of my body (feet, legs, tail-bone) to the crown of my head, asking each part of my body what it needs. Each day, a different sequence, a different pattern, and a fundamental way of moving emerges. By listening to my body, there is an internal drive that moves my outer body. What I ate, how I slept, the days previous activities all inform the movement that emerges.
More specifically, in each segment of the body, the organs – how they circulate, function, and move determines what my muscles need to do to move my body. My circulation, my breath, and my organ functions actually move me.
The next layer of my practice involves listening to the music that suits my mood on that particular day. I let the music shape the quality of movement on that particular day. So not only does what is happening inside determine how I move, but the music does as well. The music can literally speak to the deepest, most subconscious parts of my body by resonating within the muscles, bones, and organs, changing how these parts of my body are moving me.
On top of these two layers- the body influencing my movement and the music determining the quality of the movement- music has always been a driving force behind my dancing. There are moments at home, in a studio, and on stage, where the world melts away. My body becomes a vessel for the music. The motion just comes naturally to my body. It almost feels as if my conscious mind is floating on top of the vibrations of the music and my body is carried away by the waves of sound.