Thursday, January 28, 2010

dance-offs & movement jam and UW students

As I did my last dishes in the sink I thought it was friday for some insane shcizophrentic-senior moment and panickingly tried to get Christian Swenson's number to appologize that I forgot to go meet him and improvise together.I was very upset about it, I have been looking so forward every week now. But until I realized gradually and slowly that IT WAS THURSDAY TODAY and I still had my runny Butoh makeup on, from comming back from the University of Washington RedSquare Campus an hour ago.I was loading my video artist's friend Ian Lucero's rough dvd edit of the Sonic Tales, my last big project few months ago, and taking notes, I saw that Rex Hohlbein sent me 4 pictures of what happened earlier today, thru email.These are now the right corresponding photos to the text.Rex Hohlbein has been taking these beautiful blk and white magical photos.He is an architect with a big heart and a trementdously passionate eye for the camera.I am very fortunate to have met him in these crazy outdoor training sessions last year... its definitely thrugh this redshoe experiments... I am so happy.
I have recently went to visit the MOVEMENT JAM at the Velocity dance center last week and was able to find very fun, contact improv movers and dancers to play with, and gave me more inspriations for my outdoor trainings.The inexhausitible RedSHoe is my theme, a longing to dance and interact with "the other" in the public, and like the story of Hans Christian Andersen, the redshoes is never tired.It has a will of its own, dancing through life, diffrent people, happenings,....So this is a first stage of my experiments and writing the blog...experiencing the interactions, observations, the research out there, while I train. Today, and unfortunately before Rex arrived, a couple of students were taking phone pictures and gathering around me, and one of them looked so excited he wanted to jump in, whispering to his friends," shall I join her?" and then after a while I almost forgot about him, he appeared suddenly in front of me, prancing,like a happy coyote, he started enthusiastically dancing with me, around me, and improvising, and soon there was a roar from bunch of students running towards us. " Its' a fuck'n DANCE-OFF"and soon behold, there was a crowd of students gathering and jumping up and down, taking pictures and cheering.The dancer boy-student who started to dance with me was SO FUN, I think he is some sort of a hip-hop-dancer, like from the movie I saw called "you got served" wait, was it "served"? no, maybe"who got served"??? oh it doesnt matter,...we listened to each other in the frenzy of movements and expressions and he even started breakdancing.When I started rolling on the ground,monkey-style, my high heel got stuck to my wire skirt and I almost tripped, but I started laughing with so much joy.We finally both fell backwards to the ground, in a big spread, mirror image, and there was a laughter and applause.I went up to him while I continue to dance, and said" thankyou", and soon as he left, the crowd dispersed very quickly.The redsquare is very spacious, large open area with GRAND buildings, and it helped me to project.performing with full makeup and costume is definitely very diffrent from my regular trainings daily..I get so so exhausted very quickly, and my nerves of pin-drop-awareness is a deadly challenge.I must be fully fully committed.... it is tricky for me.When Rex arrived, his presence gave me energy to continue and renew energy to go on.I forgot it was cold.These mornings and evenings have been quite chilly of these sessions, I was on the other side of the fremont canal( Nickerson street) and while I was dancing by the canal, I can see the two homeless persons siting on the brink of the canal,perched like two birds, one of them, coughed the entire time while I was dancing..that was my soundtrack.I hope he takes care of his painful painful flu.Ok, thankyou for today again, universe :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Improvisation and training in the pArK

I have not kept up with the blog. I HAVE kept up with the training,on the rainy mornings I walked to the park on the 44th in Fremont and trained under the roof over the restrooms.I missed about 4days when it was raining SO HARD outside and I was under the weather.Improvisation with Joshua has been every other day,even though it has been every day for sometime... sometimes if we are tired, we only do it for even 5 minutes (! ) just to keep it going.....and now with an additional new improvising friend every week( once a week starting last week) with an artist named Christian Swenson, my joy has expanded to more possibilities to learn! He calls himself the HUMAN JAZZ and he is like an - ipod from space-rythm- man. ( did I spell rythm correct?I have a wrong feeling...) He is tall and like a tree and I am small like a beansprout so it must be entertaining to watch us go at it.We improvised until out of breath and laughing, last friday at where he teaches, the fine arts building of Seattle University. We also took turns with short solos and so we could observe each other, and eventually jump in. He teaches movement to actors and working with him and talking with him, he must be a warm and attentive, fun teacher. I also wanted to teach, teach and teach well, but had a complex for a long time until last two years..I have been teaching here and there over the last 5-6 years, but I realized a lot of things with sharing my learnings from my wonderful mentors recently.I always felt awkward, that I perform vocals, Butoh, physical theater and improvisation also, and could not come to terms with how to teach all of this in one workshop. But that eventually and organically took shape through my Butoh trainings and from my own explorations and also burrowing from other teachings.But more importantly, I learned things like, how to fascilitate the best I could to the learner/absorber /receiver to having them experience and discover on their own thru their 5 senses and observation, and by giving them space and enough time, to have them experiment with themselves and watch eachother.These are from my mentors like Shinichi-Iova -Koga and Minako Seki.Sometimes I found a lot of times my habits or difficulties more clearly by watching my students go through the excersizes I do my own, and re-discover where to work on.Or, sometimes the student is more experienced then I and give me a more perspective to how it could be more interesting, efficient or much easier communication for the tools to get there.Anyway, I have recently danced in the evenings ad had an interesting experience.In the evening, by the canal where all the Adobe business buildings are lit up inside, I could see everthing from below( where I was, the office building was surrounding on both sides , kind of like an ampu-theater), and also the quiet gliding boats on the water in front of me, and the shadowy dark figures of people constantly rushing by to get home for dinner.It feels like a veil, invisible and internal.It was kind of nice feeling.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

after 3days of Improv with Redshoes

Today I had a late start, after a meeting with Robin Held, artistic director at Frye Art Museum at Cafe Presse, ( up in capitol hill,Seattle next to Stump Town)I danced in a sprinkly rainy space in front of St. Ignatius church again.Because of this certain time of day, there were MANY students out and about busying to go to classes. I must say, I had a perfect audience today, people truly curious and watching, stopping, wondering, double takes, some that seemed worried that I am ill (!) and a security truck driving by about three times :)The dance was inpired by the droplets of rain, and I noticed there was a woman with a backpack, a blond woman standing across the path, watching silently, for quite a long time.Is she a student? a faculty? I feel like I have maybe ( MAY-be , that is) seen her last time I was here with Rex taking pictures.Because she was there for what seemed like 20-25 minutes, I felt shy but glanced over and smiled sometimes and performed for her.She had a huge smile.Today I was practicing movements of shaking of the tanden ( the center , below the belly,) and then a sudden twist like a wet rag reminded me of when I was 3rd grade in school and had to wring the wet cold rag ( called Zhokin ) in the icy winter time, 7am in the morning at Narashino-shi Tsudanuma elementary school..... I also thought about a diffrent time, few years ago, one of my teacher, Minako Seki..when she was teaching me, she almost brought me to tears, " the center ! " " why do I not see your feet active and alive?!Send the impulse from the center through your feet through the floor! Again! again!! again! Thats not it! Again!It's physics!!!"
I think I was receiving her voice while I trained today,...while many thoughts and voices were in my head, my breath getting uneasy, my body tired, I still felt grateful that the blond woman was standing, as if in the same REALM with me,like a diffrent sensory-time zone- and everyone else, passing us by.
Every day from last saturday, Joshua and I improvised together.He pulled out a cello ( even though he is a guitar player ) and started to make wonderful and crazy sounds out of it, as he often does with all the other instruments he touches :) Unlike the grueling process in creating a project through our group Degenerate Art Ensemble , for this daily thing, we decided to just improvise without any judgement and criticism, We instead promised to stay extremely aware, and IN THE MOMENT and also ENJOY, and EVEN in the moments when believing what we are doing is not working, feeling uninteresting and small, falling into our annoying habits or patterns, feeling nothing new is comming out of ourselves, we don't always just stop. One of my friend and a brilliant improviser Sten Rudstrom( Action theater teacher/performer) writes in his website: "...Precisely at THAT INSTANT comes a great opportunity: you can empty out at that instant, you can see your judgement as simply another element in the landscape of actions-you can find yourself in the moment." yes Sten... I hear you... but IT is hard... to be honest.. I do run into a wall quite a lot thses I go thru it, around it,relax through it, wrap around it, go under it, over it, fight it,change pace..tempo, mood.. shifting....... I noticed it more quite deply this 3 days.. and then a tiny little break through....I must also use my voice, and I have not sung in two months.I FORCED IT OUT, hoping for redemption after 55minutes of sad-ASS -ness of flailing around!!
I am getting second wind about training again.Thankyou blog, thankyou Joshua! Thankyou St.Ignatius, Thankyou Robin Held of Frye Art Museum for breakfast, thankyou Minakosan, thankyou blond woman with big smiles, witnessing me silently...!