Falling and Trusting the Floor

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For the past couple weeks, we have been working on falling.  I’ve never thought about falling as a dance practice before.  It has been challenging, thought provoking, and fun.  UBW uses this technique in the “Tipping Phrase” of Walking with Trane.  Amanda showed us a few parts from the quartet, which was magnificent, to help us get a better idea of how to fall properly.  To practice, we started with some exercises across the floor.  At first, each of us stood facing the front of the room and tipped slowly to the side.  This did not work very well.  I anticipated that we would fall similarly to Amanda — piece of cake.  Totally kidding, we were horrible fallers.  It was scary, and each of us tried to catch ourselves long before we were near the ground.  But hey, they were our first attempts.  After a few unsuccessful tries, we altered tactics.  Falling to the side was a bit much to tackle first because you can’t see the floor at all.  Instead, we fell forward.  This way, we could build gradually — build our relationship to the floor, recognize our relationship with gravity, gage our momentum, etc.  We practiced this for a few classes until we were comfortable with our falling.  Then we tried falling to the side again, and it worked so much better!  We all have grown so much, I love it.  Crazy to think that it took us multiple classes to re-learn how to fall, but it was wonderful.  I hope we incorporate it into the final performance.