Choreography Challenge – First Days

I must confess that I’ve bit off quite a bite trying to write and DO my own choreography challenge, but it’s coming along!  For those who don’t know yet, I’m creating a 30 day challenge of creativity for MOVERS.  At present it’s 30 days that can be in more or less days depending on the schedule of the Mover :), because if you’re like me you have a lot going on.

So I’ve written two days of challenges so far.  Day 1:  The first is to take photos or videos of creative movement inspired by your household chores! Everyone has them, we all loathe how they get in the way of our imagination, so USE IT.  While it might feel mundane, I found that trying to do dishes, play with my children and take these photos was a lot of fun and gave me a much broader perspective on the kids of creative inspirations in my own home.  I recommend repeating this one.

Day 2: This exercise is straight from the Intimate Act of Choreography with a slight adaptation.  Chapter 3 on Speaking Body isolates the specific movement of body parts in order to help the mover to be able to speak LOUDER and more poignantly with even the smallest appendage. How?  By experimentation of course!

Body Discovery (pg 17) Start with your hands, your non-dominant hand, and begin moving it.  Make small movements and gestures taking pains not to move any other part of your body.  This is where I deviated a bit. I started my improve while on a late night walk :).  Sometimes I just can’t sit still but I’ve done this improv both ways and they are both fantastic for different reasons.  Let your had become more animated, then let it start moving your arm joint by joint and JUST as you get to the shoulder, pass the movement over to your other hand.  Again, begin small.  Next try it with your toes and feet, then let your feet and arms dance together. “Com on, hand, try to ripple, spurt, stiffen, quiver, clench, scratch, hang, pulsate, drum, point….[Let it] show off a bit! It likes that…throw it away.”  Now do this with other body parts.

I recommend trying this for several days in a row, either for Days 3-5 or overlapping the next challenges.  Body discover is a lot like massage. The more you release the mental muscles the more parts of your “speaking body” you will discover.

That’s what I’ve got for today! I’ll create several more this week and post them over the weekend…Stay tuned :D.

 

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Choreography Challenge

Oh what a beautiful morning! 

Except on the internet where there are dozens of writing challenges and photography challenges and fine art challenges for 30 days of inspiration and, SO FAR, the only dance and choreography challenges are simply to do it every day. AHHH!! 

I’m a busy mom and student. Coming up with my own inspirations on the fly for an entire month is daunting. Especially since I may never foot off our property in a given day  don’t money to visit expensive museums and galleries for inspiration.  
So while I’m at it I’m going to make a list of prompts, for dancers, choreographers and teachers, to get moving and creating in the daily spaces we have already.  These will be inspired by themes in The Intimate Act of Choreography (by Bloom and Chaplin), and I may use a few of their own projects as well because they are wonderful.  

I’m off to continue our homeschool day of chores and to start my creative scratching (See Twyla Tharp’s Creative Habit) on this challenge! 

Can integrative arts include business and religion? – A part of my art journey

FINALLY!    Article of Inspiration:  Am I a Dancer Who Gave Up?

This article is a wonderfully articulate story about an artist whose passion couldn’t just be dance, and I can totally relate.  Am I a dancer? A theologian? A non-profit administrator? An early childhood educator?  A professional MOM? Every one of those titles takes work to combine with one of the others, and as someone who has always longed for a truly integrative arts journey, one is not enough.  Can “integrative arts” include people who professionally integrate their arts with traditionally non-artistic disciplines?

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Shawn Lent, who writes the article, is a dancer and choreography, but she is also a business manager and does international diplomatic work for the U.S. Did I mention she’s working in some of my favorite countries too? Like Egypt!

For many years I have had friends and family as me if I’d given up on being a dancer. No, of course not! It’s a part of who I am and I take it with me anywhere. I believe Shawn says much the same thing as I have for all these years.  And why not?

We might not know what to call ourselves, but this is a demographic I can get behind. Dare I say it, a profession?

Enjoy all you artsy peoples!!

 

Poetry Competitions -A Part of My Art Journey

Wahoo!

I’ve entered my first writing competition with a piece of poetry and am preparing submissions for two more; a local competition here in South Carolina (we moved. Long story) and the annual Reader’s Digest poetry/short story competition.

I’ve always doodled poems and story ideas in my homework margins and journals, mostly children’s poetry and adventures in literature, but have never taken time to see about publishing or sharing beyond family.  So, this is exciting.  It would be fantastic if I could actually make a little pocket money on the side with my stories 😀 and a wonderful legacy for my children who inspire much of it.

WE shall see….;) 2016-07-18 20.17.11

Daily Devotion

“High King of heaven, Lord of the years and sovereign over time and history, grant to us such an overpowering knowledge of who you are that our trust in you may be unshakable. Grant to us too a sufficient understanding of the signs of the times in which we live that we may know how to serve your purposes in our generation and more truly be your people in our world today. To that end, O Lord, revive us again and draw us closer to yourself and to each other. Where there is false contentment with our present condition, sow in us a holy restlessness. Where there is discouragement, grant us fresh hearts. Where there is despair, be our hope again. For your sake empower us to be your salt and light in the world, and thus your force for the true human flourishing of your shalom. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Oz Guinness

Photo Credit: “Faluka Boats on the Nile” present day Cairo. By myself. 

Who Has Seen the Wind – a part of my art journey

I was so surprised to be allowed to perform a dance piece last semester for a seminary theology class.  The purpose of the project was to reflect a certain point of theology and integrate it with a practical area of ministry in which we find ourselves.  For me, my dancing has always been worship, but with a deep desire to go beyond the perceived “liturgical” dance traditions common to western Christianity, and use the art to challenge perception, create questions, and demonstrate its unique beauty.

So, with that I am VERY excited to announce my next dance performance in the community!

Wind_invitation

The Promenade  is an outdoor location, pictured below. The piece will be performed around the fountain at about this time of the evening.

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Choreography is almost finished. Now it’s only a matter of the weather 😀

Let them choose to be OURS

My response to this article that came to me via Facebook, on an issue that continues to burden my heart.
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Are children suffering from identity issues in our country? Yes. Are they confused, troubled and in fear of rejection? Many are, yes. Is it all about being homosexual? A most profound NO. The struggle for identity has been our burden for thousands of years, and it only seems that each generation has a new take on it.
 
My son identified himself as “Rabbit” this morning, from Winnie the Pooh. He might go on pretending to be rabbit for several months even! Is there a problem? Was he “misassigned” as a baby and is really a rabbit? I know I’m oversimplifying, but not from ignorance, rather, I know what it’s like to have faced childhood experiences that severely damaged my sexuality and caused me to struggle with what society now calls “gender identity”. But what my mom did for me was to affirm my femininity and womanhood and my identity as her daughter, and a daughter of God. This wasn’t in conflict or agreement with “gender”, it when beyond the changeable, malleable externals and spoke to my heart.
 
Children need us to speak to their HEARTS, to put aside the external “choices” and issues they will undoubtedly face long enough to assure them that they are OUR children. They are a part of a COMMUNITY that LOVES them no matter what. THAT resolves all identity issues, from struggling as an immigrant in a new country with a new religion, to gender, to abuse. We need to give our children the choice to be OURS.
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