“At the still point of the turning world... at the still point there the dance is” T.S. Eliot
My movement background
The movement work that i practice and share has evolved from years of study in different movement forms. My main mentor is the insightful, dedicated and extraordinary Suprapto Suryadarmo, with whom i have studied since 1997. He gifted me a place on his list of teachers in 2003. His work, Amerta movement, draws on indonesian movement forms and meditation, buddhism, nature and watching children at play. I have also studied experiential anatomy, danced hundreds of hours of 5 Rhythms, and been inspired by some great teachers (Sandra Reeves, Caryn McHose, Andrea Olsen, Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen) and have a certificate in Community dance. Oh...and i do a bit of yoga too!
I have found movement to be inspiring, healing. Within it i discover again and again, who i am, what i need, what i am playing out. My mask drops, i come home. It is one of the most profound, and deeply moving practices i know.
Here i will try to describe i some way what it is - although in some way it is really beyond words. (How can words describe something so deep and moving?)
We move in the womb - we stretch, turn, spiral, reach. We push and turn as we are born then in our first few years our mind, emotions, nervous system continue to develop as we roll, reach, crawl, stand walk and then run! Through play, a curiosity and fascinaton with the capabilities of our own bodies we continue to learn and develop our understanding of who we are, of the world we live in and our relationships.
When we are older our movements become more specific (we go running, walking, do yoga) and restrained. We move in more confined ways that conform to social and cultural 'norms". Europeans sit on chairs, in India people squat everywhere - on the street, at train stations. We probably loose our inquisitive physicality and expression, taking for granted the everyday sensory experiences and movements that continue to inform and develop our nervous system and connect us with the world and each other: the turning of a key, the texture of grass under our feet, brushing our teeth, eating, the touch of a hand, a caress.
During embodied movement work, suddenly our senses are awakened again. We experience ourselves anew. Our bodies become a curiosity, a library, a playground again, instead of someting merely functional. We recover the wide-awake adventure of child hood, drop social masks, becoming more immediate, present, playful, creative. We see ourselves with open eyes, engaged mind and unguarded heart.
Sometimes this is a challenge. It is very revealing. Our behaviour patterns, social conditioning, relationship tendancies, ego, all become very obvious. But somehow, because of it's childlike nature, movement brings out the compassion and empathy for who we are. We can see, respect, value, cry and laugh at our humanness. It is a daily life meditation practice.
And then there is the magic moment that comes with this recognition - as the reality becomes revealed then arises the gift: the opportunity for choice, to break a habit, to choose instead compassion, acceptance, transformation. These moments become precious opportunities for deeper recognition and connection, for healing, prayer, creativity, blessing. Quite simply, we come home: to oursleves, to relationships, to this wonderful word we are blessed to inhabit.