Arms back, legs back, tight body, light body, go back, way back, look up to the ceiling, kick back, kick up, kick one more time. Bikram yoga. It increases flexibility, enhances weight loss or weight gain (whichever your body needs), helps to de-stress and re-focus your mind whilst releasing toxins from the mind body and soul, oh and if you are feeling a little emotional it can sometimes make you cry.
I'm re-focusing. After a few long discussions with friends I have decided that I have to stop trying to see this dance world as what I want it to be and start seeing it for what it is, although I am still trying to figure out what that is exactly, because as time goes on and I speak to more friends I don't think people are as bitter or angry as they seem, people are just scared. Whether they are scared of being out of work, scared of being judged or scared of training for so long and not having the opportunity to live their dream, people are scared, me included. I was only away for 17 months, did something change while I was away? Or was it me?
I went to the Barbican yesterday to watch the 'Dancing around Ducamp' exhibition and it was totally refreshing. There was Duchamp on the walls, Cage in the air and Cunningham in the space stimulating our ears and eyes.
The dancers were close enough to touch, you could hear their breath and see their sweat as they tilted, curved and jumped over the square white stage. Spectators walked around, stopped to watch and then continue around the exhibition in appreciation. They were seeing dance it as it should be seen, as art, seen and appreciated, questioned and understood, criticized but not judged. People didn't care whether the dancers stumbled or whether they had the most perfect technique - to be honest most of the audience probably wouldn't even notice - but it was nice to see dance being appreciated as art.
So from the Barbican to the yoga studio. Back to refocusing my thoughts, relaxing my shoulders and allowing the weight of the world to fall off my back, whilst performing a series of postures in something close to my underwear and my own sweat. The mind and the body are so closely connected it is important that you keep them both well exercised, well nurtured and well fed.
The older I get the more I realise just how closely connected they are and how I can't expect one to perform if the other is clogged up with toxins. And just like Bikram teaches us to focus ourselves for 90 minutes, to leave our thoughts outside and focus on what we are doing with our bodies in the room, the Cunningham technique requires a strong mind and body connection, twists, curves, tilts and arches performed, on one leg, two legs, in the air or during a pirouette, over counts which are sometimes inconsistent, your body is where it is in space is because your mind is telling you to put it there. Like my yoga instructor says...
...don't look in the mirror, look to where you want to go and your body will follow.
Have a good week everybody.