Dancing to express and dancing to feel. The former is about the relationships between one and the external while the latter is about the internal relationships of which one is composed. Experiencing and experimenting with the work of Trisha Brown deepened my awareness of these two modes of dancing. Sometimes they work perfectly together. By nature of feeling one is expressing. Perhaps that is the best type of dance. Sometimes, however, when the need to express comes before one is able to adequately engage in the act of feeling there is a disconnect.
The work of Trisha Brown is meant to be felt. The beauty of it is the inherent logic of the movements. Beautiful and striking movements are begotten by an appreciation of the wonder of the body as it is. Her work centers entirely on kinesthesia. It’s honest and therefore powerful.
I started off feeling. Experiencing and wallowing in the logic and sheer naturalness of the movement. Trisha’s building videos showed her doing a similar thing. She was feeling an idea over and over, each time producing a clearer image.
I wish we had more time. I could have gone on with the feeling for much longer. Feeling without worrying about what I was expressing. The semester was short. The need to express and show came before the feeling had matured. The showing was my least favorite part of the experience. Feeling and expressing were still in the process of congealing into one powerful dance. Anxiety about expressing obstructed the process and broke the two. I wanted nothing more than to go back to feeling and allow for connection with expressing to ripen so that I could try again. The showing, however, signaled the end of the project. And it was so incredibly sad.
A heightened awareness of the duality of expressing and feeling was the most valuable aspect of this project for me. Although I did not achieve it in my own body during this work, I understood it. I know what it is supposed to feel like. I will seek this feeling for the rest of my dancing life.