The Art of Movement: reflections on creative process

Revolutionary artist of movement, Martha Graham, once proclaimed:

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”

When we discover dance that gives us something, that speaks, that feeds us, that agrees with us, that unearths us, that changes us, that asks us to feel, that destroys and rebuilds us — we are connecting with truth and the invisible world.

When I am creating dance I am unconcerned with conveying any ideas or expectations pre-established within myself, the world, reality.

I begin stark.

I begin with the stark canvas so that every stroke is an expression of what is possible. Progress.

In my experience the process of creating art is the uninterrupted stream of possibilities which become possible, emotions which become emotional, visions which become visionary.

Creating art — primarily dances — is about allowing realizations to come into the body and expressing these realizations honestly, wholly and truthfully.

Though, my creative process often begins within “nothingness” — facing a dance without presuppositions — there exists yet something — roots that run deep inside of myself, which ground me in the process and sway the process this way and that.

For example, I root myself in my technique and body conditioning. My body is fine tuned and strong. The tissues, muscles, and ligaments working together with ease and precision to commit to movement and possibilities that are arriving.

My mind is rooted in limitlessness, so I am not frustrated by false or self imposed limitations. I remain unconvinced that I should cap myself off or cutting myself off from movement, direction, and intention. Any impulse I am witnessing and facing. Intentions in question forms, like, “where I am moving” “how I am moving “ “why I am moving” add to the importance of discovery within dance.

I root my mind in ease and flexibility. I know the only constant is change — changes in direction, syncopation, phrasing, meaning, and emotion. My mind is rooted in a fondness for the process of creation, and for what will eventually shift. Without this positive regard for changes the dance is constricted and the dancer is uninspired to express truths, instead settling for cover ups and lies.

Lastly, I am rooted in intuition, dreams, spirit, emotion and nature. In this way the dance is created from a language that all can understand and find personal and universal meaning within.

As with writing poetry or any other poetic forms expressing what is literal can’t go to the depths to awaken the senses, which bring about meaningful experiences, dreams and memories for the artist or others…

So that dancing in symbols have the power to awaken sensations far more profound than dancing forms.

For example the form is a simple raising of the left palm towards the sky and the eyes follow the palm. With what quality the dancer follows her eyes to her hand and beyond the sky dictates meaning. How potent is this movement to the dancer in her space and time? How viscerally can the dancer hold her energy or seemingly “stop time”?

We have the opportunity to give meaning to all movements any time. Life is a dance that is entirely up for interpretation. Creating sensation or memory provoking meanings in the dance can bring someone to another place and time. To transport the moment for another person. To connect others to a place they feel only in their dreams.

We see dance as meaningful when the dancer gives movement intentions, emotions, stories that connect us to our deepest sensory experience of what it means to be human or, what it means to be divine.

As an artist I see it as my gift to communicate what is meaningful to me, like idea of seeing something the extraordinary inside the ordinary. Or the idea that we can time travel to the ancient past, to settle an unsettled truth or bring back something to share with the community: for the sensation of unity perhaps or love.

My goal as a young artist is to maintain this great wave of creativity I am harnessing now. I acknowledge that I have a healthy hunger to present my work to anyone who will see me, to all interested parties, to the world, to critics, and to give equal opportunity to touch the “dance” and “non-dance” communities.

My artistic goals branch out to continue developing two of my most cherished loves: traveling and writing. I travel with my work. I create dances that play in the landscapes of human diversity, natural diversity of nature, and evoke a truthful beauty.

Writing is an important modality to bridge ties in my work: to write about dance or to speak words as dances is to tie together what can be nonlinear with what can be linear. To stretch this concept of movement or dance to include streams of consciousness and the melodic ebb and flow of the word. I am working with forms and formlessness, and the spaces in between, however fragmented or arranged.

I see dance within words and in poetry just as well as I see dance in three dimensional spaces.

I danced at The Passion Company’s event “Shine” on April 16th in San Francisco, where I presented a performance of an eight minute dance peice. The music to this piece is titled, “Cajita de Musica” by a group called Aikyo, which consists of three instruments: Hang Bells, Cello, and Flute. I love the music because it captivates my attention from the first note to the last. The music is wild, untamed, creature like and nostalgic for something. It calls for an unresolved truth or perhaps a lifetime of seeking. Whatever it is, this music inspires the movement for this piece, so much so that only the beginning and the ending of the dance became “choreographed” after four studio sessions. The rest of the piece seemed to dance itself in practices and especially I felt the dance take on life of it’s own in performance.

My style of dancing and my choreography has many detentions to it, many symbols. My training is based in my experiences and understandings in classical and contemporary ballet, graham, Horton, Silvestre Technique, Orixa dance movement or Afro-brazilian folkloric/traditional dances and symbology.

My choreography moves through all of these forms, but aims to break out as well into new forms and lines to explore meaning, emotion, and interpretation of my own making. The best part about performing dance that comes from my heart feelings I get to feel while dancing. I feel “right” “natural” “resolved” “risky” “true” “loving” “possible” “open” “grateful” “alive” “happy” “comfortable” “safe” “undefined” “emotional” “sensual” “powerful”, etc.

Knowing my dance connects me deeper with people and to my truth is the greatest achievement.

To taking risks

Creating more

and always being oneself during the process.