I’ve been thinking a lot about what my purpose is with dance, what motivates me to move? And why move in a certain way? Is one way of moving “better” than another?
Today though I thought mostly about this: there is structured dance, a movement vocabulary you learn which has its own system, its own set of codified movements. Then there is unstructured dance, which is organic, innate – your natural movement. I want to forge my own pathway between movements I’ve trained my body to do (by the grace of my teachers!) and the spontaneous movements my body wants to do, a path between the discipline and the spontaneous.
For inspiration, I went to “the tree,” a majestic magical oak tree, the biggest oak tree in Florida. I felt my way around the tree for a while, wondering if I should dance with her (I don’t know if trees have a gender but the energy felt feminine to me 🙂 but I ended up mostly playing in her shade.
Dancing with my Hands:
More Tolerant than a Tree:
I felt free at the tree, like I was playing. But afterwards, I was struck by something like sadness. I felt a heavy judgement on myself, as if by being silly and moving freely I’m rejecting or disgracing the sacredness of Bharata Natyam. The judgement sounded something like, “if you have something so beautiful as Bharata Natyam, why would you choose to move another way?” It was a sadness I know well, like I’m choosing to eat the apple even when I know its forbidden.