Inexperienced Area, Queens, NY (and through Vimeo).
April 8, 2022.
“Mindfulness” is a buzzword of the fashionable world, as society explores alternative ways to heal and transfer ahead with extra connection and flourishing. For some, it'd call to mind sitting in silence on a meditation cushion. But, one will be conscious anyplace, anytime – as a result of it merely means appreciating the fullness of this very second. The double invoice Take Root offered two deeply considerate works, every with distinctive and dynamically meditative qualities: in their very own methods, reminding us to breathe and settle into the appropriate right here and proper now.
Physique Tales: Teresa Fellion Dance’s Regularly Therapeutic, choreographed by the corporate’s Founding Director Teresa Fellion in collaboration with the dancers, kicked off this system. The work is a layered, memorable take a look at how – inside ourselves and in how we're on the planet with others – we transfer towards therapeutic and our highest self. By means of a contemplative and soulful high quality, the piece instructed a narrative in motion of transferring from isolation to genuine connection.
It started with two dancers, transferring individually from one another and never (but) acknowledging one another. Their motion was extremely gestural, inside, and never simply described in phrases (not in a method that would do it justice). As if in relishing all of its risk – each minute and grand – the dancers took their time.
They even discovered stillness often, nearly as if to let the resonance of motion slowly dissipate – just like the sound of a rung bell slowly turning into quieter till it turns into silence. A memorable part contrasted this straightforward dissipating of motion, with one duet companion concurrently providing accented, exhale-driven motion.
Two different dancers quickly joined them, but the shortage of overt interpersonal connection remained. In one other second of clear and sharp distinction, the 2 more moderen dancers moved in a pointy and accented method whereas the 2 different dancers sat in stillness. Then, all the sudden, they embraced: an sudden and highly effective second of uncooked, trustworthy human connection.
The primary two dancers quickly exited, main right into a extra fast-paced and frenetic part – with turmoil and even a recent edginess. Turning, grounded deeply by their legs, they held one arm out whereas one hand touched their coronary heart: opening to receiving, but in addition defending what may be fragile.
All of it sped up, getting extra athletic and tumultuous. But, at moments they settled into the ground and put a hand to the guts: reaching out however self-protecting. After a climactic second during which this vigorous, turbulent motion peaked, they each fell to the bottom, nearly as if in exhaustion: their breath quickened and their launch into the ground heavy.
The piece progressed equally from there – with totally different mixtures of dancers creating different sections, their entrances and exits like chapter markers (supported by shifts in lighting and within the rating, as nicely). By means of all of those sections, the ensemble displayed not solely putting stamina and dedication to their efficiency, however a delightful readability of bodily shaping and pathways of momentum even whereas protecting motion supple and steady.
Later, lighting lowered – even providing dancers particular person moments in a centerstage highlight. It grew to become extra diffusely low, all all through the stage area, because the piece progressed. That cohered, hand in glove, with the haunting instrumental rating (by John Yannelli, Kiernan Robinson, Muriel Louveau and Kevin Keller). The inner, gestural, and even gut-driven motion joined each of these parts, all to create a chillingly ghostly environment.
All through all of it, because the piece continued, small moments of connection did shine by: whether or not by bodily contact, eye contact, assembly in unison motion, or just shut proximity. Extra so, nonetheless, I felt a solitude – even a loneliness – in how these 4 souls moved by the piece.
Towards the tip of the work, nonetheless, they did discover extra connection, even assist of each other: foreheads leaning into one other’s to assist one another’s weight, holding below armpits to assist one other slowly decrease to the bottom. With that shift, in addition to to softer tones in lighting and rating, a brand new easefulness and concord started to pervade the area – even when echoes of the ghostliness that had constructed nonetheless hung within the environment.
In that new air of connection, I felt a brand new assuredness – even a ferocity – within the presence of those transferring souls. They'd shifted to a spot that allowed such connection, after which that ferocity might shine by. It begins with us. The work’s relishing in every second – letting every second take its time and permitting it to have its personal life – additionally allowed all of that to blossom forth.
Three of them watched one different dancing with this new presence, with witnessing maybe appearing as a type of assist. The lights lower out within the midst of that – signaling a continuance. We are able to hope that such a extra assured, related, and mutually-supportive bearing can proceed – but it surely’s not a one-and-done. It’s a course of, because the saying goes. It’s frequently therapeutic, as Fellion‘s title goes.
The second half of this system introduced us Kristin Hatleberg’s Choreographed by Clouds. An interdisciplinary and considerate method evinced a love of assorted sensory, aesthetic and energetic treasures – and invited viewers members to share in that conscious, present-moment love. All through, Hatleberg danced in entrance of video of clouds, clouds of various visible and atmospheric qualities. Her motion was easeful, trustworthy and internally resonant.
Deepening the motion meditation at hand, she later discovered repeated motion vocabulary: easeful rippling by the backbone and arms transferring ahead and again, turning whereas her arms turned along with her overhead. This wasn’t a virtuosity of excessive leaps or limitless turning – however somewhat one among unobstructed momentum, motion touring by the physique in a method that was absolutely aligned with its timeless knowledge.
Audio provided a poetic auditory layer, as nicely. To start the work, this audio hinted at a follow of filming clouds, in numerous places all through the world and sharing the video with family members. I puzzled if that was a proper inventive follow. All of this put me in a headspace of inventive generativity and the enjoyment present in making one thing, of being immersed in that course of it doesn't matter what the result could also be.
Varied descriptions within the audio additionally tickled my thoughts, as I continued to soak up Hatleberg’s motion with nice pleasure: how clouds typically play “second actor” to the solar in our inventive and visible inclinations, because it has for hundreds of years; a reminiscence of discovering shapes within the clouds as a baby, with childhood buddies.
On this dive into childhood reminiscence, the video rotated as she turned – with the rating even providing notes with a way of dipping and swooping, falling and rising, as if the notes themselves had been additionally turning. This felt related to the sooner retelling of one other childhood discovery: that should you lie and watch the clouds, you would possibly even really feel the earth rotating – a reality of the pure world “that fascinated us at that age.” It made my coronary heart yearn for the pure, uncomplicated curiosity and pleasure of discovery that we expertise – with out attempting to – in childhood.
Bringing a tonal shift about midway by the work, the voice modified and darkish stormy clouds grew to become the brand new aesthetic and energetic focus: the clouds that result in snow, rain, wind. The reminiscence at hand right here, of storms seen in childhood, led to historic reminiscence – of conquistadors and pioneers venturing throughout the “New World” (new to them, after all). The audio related that to the current, the panorama now definitely being one thing fairly totally different.
Even so, Hatleberg continued transferring with ease, honesty and thoughtfulness. Some issues change, but some issues are timeless. Her eager musicality with the music of speech was additionally fairly satisfying; she discovered the rise and fall within the timbers of a voice, the rhythm of punctuation and a sentence’s diction, in and thru her core and limbs.
Sounds of windchimes and storms quickly introduced my thoughts to what we'd generally see because the darker a part of what clouds convey – and he or she rolled offstage for the lights to go down. The reality of the duality of all issues – yin and yang, darkness and light-weight – permeated. Additionally arising in my thoughts and soul was a reminder to not take as a right – to hunt to find, to take marvel in one thing as quotidian and mundane as a cloud – as a result of it does have marvel to share, if we are able to cease lengthy sufficient to see it.
That is “dwelling within the second”: permitting ourselves to expertise the wonder in each on the spot, a magnificence that it’s all too straightforward to let move us by. Physique Tales: Teresa Fellion Dance’s and Kristin Hatleberg’s works in Take Root definitely jogged my memory that each second has distinctive treasures. It additionally steeped every second in wealthy sensory and kinetic treasures, constructing a layered dynamism.
This system underscored that sure, we are able to certainly be conscious with dance – even when there’s extra motion and sensory enter than we frequently affiliate with mindfulness and meditation. That solely signifies that there’s extra richness in every second to understand! Much more significant, these works referred to as us to cease, breathe, and re-connect with prospects of the physique and within the air proper right here, proper now. I can consider few reminders extra poignant and extra very important.
By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa.