Sunday Dance to Word–the visual art of performance

Last week I wrote about making lists or thoughts of what inspires us everyday, and what are we grateful for. Those could be one or two separate themes, depends on your mood! How did your lists go? Did you make them everyday, or a few, or even just once? Did it make you think? Or tell someone you love them everyday? Or write a book? Or move you?

Dance is a living, breathing, visual art form..You either do it, or you watch it.

This past week I have had the honor of being a judge for an international competition. What a treat for me, and so serious. I love it when dance moves me, thrills me, makes my heart palpitate with excitement. (kind of sounds like sex!) the competition is not over yet, hence, so not too much to say about it.

But I would like to get you thinking about performance. And that would be performance vs. dance for pleasure. Again those could be the same for some people. But I want to draw a separation between them, just for now. I want to know what moves you in a performance. What do you look for? What turns you on? Can you write that down?

And I don’t mean just I like it, or I love it or I hate it, (hate is a very strong word) but WHY? What moves the earth for you? And you could relate that to a painting, a short story, a book, a building, a skirt, whatever…can you say why it does what it does for you…

let me know, I’m curious! I”ll write about my judging experiences after it is over this week. Fantastic…

speaking of performances, here is a biggie coming up in Portland this week! Going to be spectacular.

My dancer Cinzia will be flying in from Italy to dance with the Portland contingent of Gypsy Caravan-Karen, Carol, Gina, and myself! That will be very exciting to have her here in P-town with us for this show! Woo hoo…

after our show in Milan, with Cinzia and Amanda…

You can view some of our past performances on my website, from our You Tube channel…


4 Responses to Sunday Dance to Word–the visual art of performance

  1. Whilst it can be fascinating to watch a performance where technique is spot on, or where costumes are breathtaking, that alone just doesn’t do it for me. What really, really moves me in a performance – any style of performance – is CONNECTION. Obviously the connection between the dancer(s) and their audience is vital – I like to feel I’m ‘involved’ emotionally in some way, rather than being a passive observer. But it’s much more than that. The dancer(s) need to connect with the style they’re dancing, it needs to ‘fit’ (we’ve all seen performances, for example where Oriental style dancers perform a tribal choreo and no matter how well they execute the steps there’s something missing) and both the dancer AND the dance need to connect with the music. From that perspective, just loving the music you’re performing to isn’t sufficient – it has to become inextricably linked to your dance and your responses to both. Finally of course, in the case of troupes there is the connection between the dancers themselves, which for me is at its most potent in tribal improv. The dancers need to be ‘together’ in mind, body and spirit, with their responses to one another, the dance, the music and the audience being as one. It’s when all these different connections come together, mesh as one exquisite piece of lace almost, that the magic is created. The connection becomes so strong, so overwhelming, that it is almost tangible, and the audience is drawn inextricably into the web. Those, for me, are the performances that truly touch me, move me to joy or tears, take my breath away!

  2. Yes! Cayte, I am all about the connection too… and I would add, after teaching some performance prep classes this summer, that seeing a dancer OWNING her power while onstage is absolutely breathtaking. I love it when someone goes up there with no apologies, and just embodies it (whatever they are doing) to the fullest. I love seeing a performer own and share her power – of intention, of self, and her expression of love for what she is doing!

  3. Fantastic Hilary! owning your power, your dance, your expression, means you really do have something to say, to share…to hell with apologies… no excuses…just freaking do it!

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