Contact Improv: a study in touch and consent

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to a contact improv lesson and jam, something I haven’t done in years. For the uninitiated, contact improvisation is a style of dance characterized by the words in its name: the dance is unchoreographed and improvisational, and the dancer strives to stay in contact with one or moreContinue reading “Contact Improv: a study in touch and consent”

Weekly sharing series

I’ve been working to use Facebook more reliably, and I’m looking to launch a series for each day of the week where I say a little something, post a little finding, share a song or a story or an exercise, each day of the week. But because it’s cuter if I do it this way,Continue reading “Weekly sharing series”

What was taken from you? Where do we get it back?

This weekend, we focused on soul: what feeds us, where we feel at home, how we connect to passion, to center, to power, to connection itself. As part of that, we talked about the thwarts to passion: what does your passion call you to do, and what gets our way?

An important learning from this was that most of the time, the thing thwarting us is not of us. We may have internalized it, sure, but it was something done to us. “Something taken out of my soul. Something I would never lose. Something somebody stole.” Or, something somebody put there, something that doesn’t belong, that we should never have been forced to carry.

Great fun getting actors into their bodies at Theatre @ First

The other night I had the opportunity to work with a large cast of actors in a crazy, little-known Elizabethan play called The Knight of the Burning Pestle. The play is a satire on Elizabethan theatre, written in the same time period. A couple of rowdy “audience members” interrupt the action constantly, insert their ownContinue reading “Great fun getting actors into their bodies at Theatre @ First”

“Though that mark will never fully heal…as you grow, the scar gets smaller in proportion.”

This is a beautiful video by the great Ze Frank (yes, of “True Facts” fame), and young dancer Harry Shum, Jr. Using light, movement, paint, music, and voiceover, this video fully embodies what it is to be “painfully shy,” and what it is to come out of that shell at last. If you, right now,Continue reading ““Though that mark will never fully heal…as you grow, the scar gets smaller in proportion.””

Why does music make us cry?

Everyone knows how a song can open us to emotion.  Most of us probably have songs that make us cry, songs that make us nostalgic for our youth, songs that make it impossible not to dance.  And as we go into the holiday season, there are doubtless songs that make us homicidal, particularly the onesContinue reading “Why does music make us cry?”

Double Edge, again: becoming one with presence

Yesterday, I spent more time with the wonderful folks at Double Edge Theatre, out in Ashfield, MA.  Their highly physical Open Trainings, as I’ve described here before, are rigorous, inspirational, and transformative, and I would encourage anyone who is not mobility-challenged to try one. Here are some moments from this one, particularly as they relateContinue reading “Double Edge, again: becoming one with presence”

The Classic Sequence: The Head Roll

Getting back to this series, after this weird couple of weeks made it difficult to write about normal things.  Now, though, to continue with the progression of moves in the so-called “classic sequence” of a Rubenfeld Synergy session. After the first touch at the head, the Synergist will often attempt a head roll.  The pointContinue reading “The Classic Sequence: The Head Roll”

The Classic Sequence: First Touch at the Head

As promised, I’m beginning my series on the Classic Sequence of moves in a Rubenfeld Synergy session.  The first move is a gentle touch at the head, and in this post I’ll describe the quality of that touch, the reasons we do it, and what we’re attempting to determine from it. A word on theContinue reading “The Classic Sequence: First Touch at the Head”

Out of my comfort zone

Last week was something of a process of getting out of my comfort zone and doing things I’d long wanted to, but never quite had the nerve.  In particular, I applied for a theatrical directing slot at a local respected theatre company, proposing a couple of really classic shows. I write a bit about theContinue reading “Out of my comfort zone”