A transcendent moment of understanding! That’s what I had today as I choreographed: a rare moment that breathed fresh and insightful air into my process for my dance solo.
I realize I can trace this thread back to a related epiphany in dance class. The wise instructor urged us to dance the movement first by capturing the quality she communicated kinesthetically and how that quality felt to us, inside us. Rather than heading into a cerebral analysis of the “steps,” we were encouraged to sense the movement and echo that sense in our own bodies.
The specific phrase seemed bubbly and effervescent. The threshold challenge then was to embody and convey that “bubbliness” in each moment.
Sure, I had heard similar guidance before, but this time it resonated deeply. So, today, I used a similar approach: zeroing in on what I sought to evoke, how that felt inside my body and generating movement from there.
It reminded me of an article I read recently by the terrific life coach, Martha Beck, about cultivating our intuition. Beck says:
“If you’ve never learned to tap into your intuition, your life is almost certainly much more difficult than it needs to be. Why? Because your intuition helps you make choices based on what you actually want, it helps you avoid trouble, draws you toward positive situations…It circumvents your intellect–which can tell you all kinds of inaccurate, critical, self-defeating things–and instead guides you based on what your body, your very essence, knows to be true….” (“Your Intuition Has Something To Tell You,” O, The Oprah Magazine, May 2015, p.149)
Her intriguing piece came flooding back to me as I worked, checking artistic choices I was making: Did they feel right? Was my physical sense of the movement choices one of resonance with the themes I am exploring?
Creating from this embodied fount feels more organic than my past practice that incorporated some of this intuitive focus, but often reverted to too much analysis, entailing more a mental problem to be solved than a physical journey to be experienced.
This emphasis feels a little more comfortable to this fledgling (and often terrified) choreographer. Using an intuitive lens helps narrow what frequently seems to be an infinite array of options–a daunting, even paralyzing prospect.
Perhaps more important, I get to practice listening to and understanding my intuition’s messages in everyday life. As Beck says, “…. it’s all well and good to know how valuable your intuition is–but that doesn’t mean you know how to listen to it….”
While our intellects can offer valuable contributions, we sacrifice a potent source of information if we ignore our intuition. If we are open to our body’s messages, we can access the torrents of insightful information the body flows to us all the time.
I was about to write that my intuition is wondering how I can be so late to the party in mining more deeply the riches of intuition, but as Beck notes:
“Your intuition never criticizes you. If you’re hearing an inner voice that sounds shaming, blaming, disdainful, withering, or mean, you are not hearing your intuition, which functions more like a kitten: it may be urgent, nervous or resistant, but it could never imply that something is wrong with you.…” (Y A Y)
A transcendent moment of understanding! I’m taking that breath of fresh, insightful air and refreshing my process for living.
“The body never lies.”~Martha Graham
Photo credits: Top-Jane Shauck; 2nd and Bottom–Alexandra; 3rd-Essennelle Studios