During week 7 and 8 here at FSU a lot of things have happened. I attended the Urban Bush Women show, I went to First Friday and looked at art and saw Hannah and Ilana’s performance. I’ve aslo been enjoying being an understudy of Ilana’s piece and being apart of that whole process. Then finally in Gabe’s ballet class he’s been challenging us with new ideas to think about while dancing. All of these things have been big factors of my latest train of thought.
First off the Urban Bush Women show was amazing. The dancing is so physical and you can literally feel the energy of the performers coming off the stage. Also UBW’s company members and director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar create this sense of community that you can so perfectly see throughout the performance. It’s also very nice to see UBW use different modes of art and talent throughout their piece. The dancers use of other body parts to make noise, like stomping, and use of other talents to support the ideas of the piece, like singing really make the whole work very unique. But one of my favorite things about the show was the live pianist in the second act. It really added to the liveliness of the whole piece.
Going to First Friday never fails to inspire me. All the artwork and artists around makes for a inspiring and energetic atmosphere. When I went, FSU dancers were doing a “jugstilation” in 621 Gallery. When I see my fellow peers improv and completely live in the moment like that it makes me very happy. To see the exploration and choices the performers make in the space is extremely inspiring, you can just feel the creative juices flowing out of everyone participating in the experience. I also saw Ilana and Hannah’s performance. I’m not sure what it was about or the process they went through to make it but it was very entertaining and funny. I could pickup on some improvisational techniques but for the most part it was just an amazing whirlwind of ideas. It’s just one more reason to love this school and the talented faculty I am lucky to have.
And then there’s Gabe’s ballet class. Since he went to the IADMS Conference and took a gaga class he’s been encouraging us to use some of Ohad’s ideas of pleasure and exploration in our ballet. Throughout the class Gabe will repeatedly say to find the pleasure in everything. Gabe also talked about finding the pleasure within effort. When you’re struggling to get your leg up and it starts to hurt instead of gripping your muscles in the pain, relax into the effort and find the pleasure of doing that big movement. Personally I absolutely love this new approach to taking a ballet class, it’s extremely refreshing. At first I thought it would be easy to apply these ideas because I can reference times I’ve taken gaga classes but it was kind of challenging. Especially in ballet class, where I’ve trained a certain way for years, it was hard to connect to the things Ohad tells his dancers. After trying some different things it became easier to feel the way I do in gaga classes in ballet class. Being not only emotionally happy but physically happy during class changed my whole work ethic. I found myself genuinely happy and I think that kind of stuff definitely shows through any type of dancing. I’ve also been trying to apply all these ideas to my everyday life too. Being aware of how lucky you are just to be alive and connecting to life’s pleasures really changes the way you go through your day.