Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dance, Dance, Otherwise We Are Lost

That is the subtitle to the film, Pina, which I just had the amazing privilege of seeing. Although difficult to sit pain free, I just had to see this film before it left the theaters, and I plan to see it again as soon as possible, in between upcoming healthcare appointments. I can't wait to return to dance, because I too have been feeling the title of the magnificent film on Pina Bausch. Without dance, I have been truly feeling lost. I was totally transported during this film, to a place that I needed to be. I only hope that I get the go ahead from my doctors, to begin to dance once again as well. This was the first time I have seen a 3-D film, so it truly made me feel as if I was on stage with the dancers, or maybe it wasn't the 3-D that did that for me but the craving to be amongst the dancers. One dancer spoke about her initial fears in the dance, and Pina's response to her was not to be afraid, but to dance what she yearned for, what she craved. Oh, how I understand that feeling. Reading up a bit on Pina, I feel compelled to share a bit of what she said about the dance, which really spoke to me. She was quoted as saying:

"When I first began choreographing, I never thought of it as choreography but as expressing feelings. Though every piece is different, they are all trying to get at certain things that are difficult to put into words. In the work, everything belongs to everything else -- the music, the set, the movement and whatever is said. I don't know where one thing stops and another begins, and I don't need to analyze it. It would limit the work if I were too analytical. I'm not interested in how people move, but what moves them."

For me, dance is my spiritual practice, it is about what moves me, rather than how I move, that is why it is so difficult to show up to dance and be limited by my body's restrictions. It puts me in my mind rather than my spirit. Not the place I want to be, yearn to be, crave to be. 

Although there where some subtitles of the dancers talking about their experiences with the dance, and especially dancing as she choreographed them. I loved that the words appeared below their faces, with their voice in the background, without their lips moving, so one could look into their eyes and read so much more than the words could ever translate. I know many of us dance the things we cannot say. The dancers did not really even seem to be choreographed because the movements seemed so spontaneous, as though they rose up from some place other than the external prompting. What also struck me was the complete surrender and trust that each dancer had that they would catch and be caught, held and supported by one another, and at times, becoming one with the other dancer/dancers. The connections were palpable. Each dance seemed more like a performance piece, rather than a specific choreographed dance. The elements of earth, water, air and sky where omnipresent in each dance, and it really was wonderfully difficult to know, where the dancers and the environment began and ended. The dancers sculpted the space so beautifully and the sparse props seemed to be an integral part of the performances rather than outside elements. There was an anthropomorphic quality to the settings. The chairs sculpted the space and became dancers as well.  Everything seemed so integrated in the film, I did not want it to end. I felt tempted to hide under my seat (yeah like that is something my back would allow!) and sneak a stay for the next screening. It was that captivating for me, and maybe, just maybe, the first step in my dance back to my dance.

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