Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where will dance take you? - Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I meant to write about that yesterday too but I forgot. Oh well. That means that yesterday's post is shorter (riiiiiiiiiiiiight) and I get to write one more blog before leaving. :p It's probably going to be another long one...

Anyway, in the blogs that I re-read (that one was from August 2006), there was one about two questions that I had read on another dancer's blog, which was "Where do I want dance to take me? And where will I let dance take me?"

In the blog that I had written last year, I didn't have an answer to these questions. What these questions had brought out in me is a fear. I distinctly remember how, in reading those questions, I realized how my feet were dug in the sand and I am not letting it take me anywhere. I re-read the sentence to be sure that I was quoting it right. And there is a lot in that statement.

There was like panic at the time when I read this. A panic like "I can't let anything take control." Indeed, part of it was me needing to be in control. There was also a panic of, "I should let go of stuff and let dance take me somewhere... but how?" I just simply didn't know how to relinquish control. Also, I think that I didn't understand how I could let something else take control (even dance) and the end result be a good one. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone else but me. lol

I know that these questions and these thoughts were almost always in the back of my mind from that time until when I broke my foot.

Now, a year later, I can read the two questions and feel peaceful and be able to begin answering them.

This feeling might be due to the troupe going more and more tribal. I'm sure that that's a part of it. As two of my tribe sisters have written on blogs, letting go of control and being in the moment was freakishly scary yet, in the end, we have come not only to live with it but to absolutely love it. We don't need to stress out before a performance and wonder if we will remember the moves: there are no sequence of moves to remember! You just have to be able to lead for the time that you are leading and then you just follow along. That doesn't mean that following is that easy. After all, you have to be on the lookout for a cue! lol

Another aspect that may have helped is the increase of solo performances that I have done. Actually, the last few solo performances have been improv also. Improv is something that works better for me as I tend to speed up too much when I know a choreography too well. So I end up giving away the punch before the music actually catches up with me. :p

One of the performances that was significant was the Red Tour one when I danced to Bir Demet. It was a tribute to Lestat, our ferret who had just passed away. In my dance for him, I totally let go and was in the moment. I don't quite remember all that I did but I know that I hit the spots that I wanted to hit with certain moves that I had thought about. This was a dance of sorrow. I let the emotion carry me. I think that it was one of my best performances to date.

I didn't realize it but, in letting the emotion carry me, it was a first step towards letting dance carry me.

And then I got injured. I had to take some time away from dancing. I was still there for the troupe practices but, outside of that, I didn't think about dance too much, I didn't even practice the upper body even though I could have. I think that I needed to just not do anything dance-related because it might have hurt a bit too much to think that I couldn't actually dance for a while. And I was damn scared of what I would be like when I would start again. Would my skills have diminished considerably? Would I even be able to do all that I could normally do? (I knew that it would take time for that, which led to the next question) How long before I can go back to what I was able to do?

Well, then the RenFaire came. I was supposed to do only minimal dancing because I technically did not have the okay yet from the doctor to dance. As Jeff had pointed out at the time, the doc was probably expecting an high impact dance kind of like what I was doing when I injured myself whereas basic belly dance can be very low impact if you want it to be. Given the temperature, I ended up dancing more than I had anticipated to give my tribe sisters some reprieve from the heat. It was a good decision, too, because my foot could rather easily withstand the exercise. It actually was good for it.

During the RenFaire, something interesting happened. The first day, I was so grateful to dance, it was awesome! Then, the next day, I danced to Ani More Nurse, to which I often do some mild Bhangra moves (guess I needed to exorcise the injury). Anyway, that was the interesting thing: it was as if the music had slowed down and I had all the time in the world to think of what to do. And, yeah, I have no idea again of what all I did except for some Bhangra moves, including the one that makes everyone go wild because I look so darn cute when I do it. ;) So, one more time, I let something else carry me. This time, it was not emotion but it felt more like dance was carrying me.

So, with all these experiences, that's why I'm saying that I can begin to answer the questions. As I wrote in yesterday's blog, these days, I am questioning things that I am doing or thinking dance-wise to figure out if this is truly where I want to go. So that's me answering question #1, Where do I want dance to take me? Now, for question #2, Where will I let dance take me?, there is but one answer: where it wants. I trust that dance will take me to a place where I will feel comfortable and proud of myself.

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