I realise, once more, that somatic work and dance make me question terms and thereby my way of reading and being in the world. The module Embodied Practice, part of my MA, is over. What do I mean by writing now, after these weeks, the term freedom? Equally I can ask that about: autonomy and engagement? It is a question about representation, about the mediation between process and its appearance. After these weeks there is a difference. It may not look different. But it feels new. I let myself be seduced to follow a new route. I didn’t ask anymore if somatic is for the expansion of performative skills or for self-exploration or for a state of being. It was just happening, somehow. With all my dedication and all of my presence I flow into the listening to what is appearing, I witness myself in a kind of autonomy that is difficult to describe: i feel loosened from labels, from needs to how to do, from to do at all, i feel loosened from a certain style, from a shape to fill into – rather i create a shape, constantly, myself. But it doesn’t seem to be myself either, no producing decision, as I follow a stream of exploration, a shape that is being formed by my body and the task, and the other bodies and the space and the air and breath and molecules. So it is no way independent. No solitude. No reflective choice. But still it feels autonomous.
Is this an artistic process?
To be curious for life’s dynamics of creativity, is that art? Before, I linked the eager to study to the eager to have a result. But now, how I am to legitimise a result just out of curiosity for a richness that I find existing, that I do first of all not produce but perceive? Movement, space, bodies, all of that is there already (though shaped by my attendance) and in constant shifts.I slow down, I wait for the impulse and I face the fear that there may never come one. I have the experience that it is coming and it is making me feel more real than anything else. The endless joy I find in watching details of every day life, nature as well as cities, of exploring moments and spaces.
Is the sharing of these experiences an artistic articulation?
There are so many ways of articulation, and there is so much knowledge without articulation, and so many individual paces to the processes of both articulation and non-articulation. To be lost, to be in a place of not-knowing, the beginners mind as well as the discovering mind are such precious moments. Validation comes in when somebody engages in one’s own pace, much more than when somebody manages to articulate the learned. Somatic work encourages me to not pretend when I am lost and unconfident, but to put me and my vulnerability in a visible spot.
Does experience comes before expertise?
This would evoke honesty – even more, authenticity. I have huge issues with that term. Not only with the word, but with the concept. Especially in relation to body, experience and presentation. But how else should I name it? – this attempt to not make it shiny. To really show my practice, my process. Not performing to stay close to the process, not performing authenticity, but circling around it, which may become very performative. I allow to discover a world without having to name it. To have a field of interest, and what this field defines, as well as the reasons to be interested, don’t have to be named. I explore the motivation of the practice, again and again, in the unfolding of the process, in the availability of the body for that what arises.
Articulating, as women. Women who move.
In order to take experience seriously and to process it, to distance myself just far enough in order to observe it non-judgmentally and gently, to kind of touch it, without expertise, I need to move. Bodily. Yes, imagination can do a lot, but the actual physical movement does something else. Or better: the possibility of actual physical movement as it wants to be. The invitation to get out of the way of the physical self, the space to move through space. Because it allows my body and mind to understand that going slow in the sense of focused and precise doesn’t mean to me moving slow. It can. But it may also not look like it.So, what is dance then?A way to let go. Let go of the need to be aware, of a task, of past and future, of any rules, any should, of understanding and improving. It means to be totally in the moment, even if it brings a memory. It invites contradiction, play, complexity in. And it also allows to break a state of the introvert high sensitive Me. Because dance allows to recognise that are sensation, perception, and creation are reciprocal, that I am because the others are. It allows relation.
Could I now put artistic and authentic and creation in one sentence?