As the summer unfolded I reconnected with the pleasure of dance, tested my limits, ate exotic fruits, met interesting people, visited foreign countries and got involved in a new project.
It was a season of adventures. In less than two months I visited five countries. I met some of the most accomplished artists in contemporary dance and got to know some amazing dancers.
The key word for this summer was travel. First I went to Spain and participated in Deltebre Dansa. There were dancers from all over the world and as usual it was an intensive event. With plenty of teachers to be inspired by like David Zambrano, Linda Kapetanea, Jozef Frucek, Ben “Fury” and the members of Les Slovaks.
Later after a break in Bulgaria I was off to Israel. It was quite a rewarding experience to study Gaga with Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva dancers. I had looked forward to it for a long time.
I will take you through my journey paraphrasing some of the teachers.
Live the life of a composer. Navigating and composing through your life. – Martin Kilvadi. He was referring to use instant composition not only in dance but in life too.
Everybody has a “black box” with memories and knowledge that you can pull up anytime. – Erick Jimenez
Nothing is lost, memories, experience and intuition are guiding us daily.
“This is what we eat” – Edivaldo. His class is based on exhaustion from high physical effort. At the point you think you can’t continue anymore you discover there is room for more. He believes the energy can be recycled.
“You are never alone. Inviting and arriving.” David Zambrano. During his Passing Through classes you can often see fifty dancers running, walking, catching curves, following or leading.
“The habit becomes your nature.” Ohad Naharin / Gaga
You can hear him saying “Plenty of time.” reminding your mind to stay quiet in the effort.
“Leave room for traveling stuff.” You hear these words often during Gaga classes while simultaneously adding different textures to your movement. “Let things move you. Pass through you.”
And for when it was becoming too intense…
“Don’t take yourself too serious, guys. Smile.” Yaniv Avraham
Two of the main things I found useful during my explorations related to energy and stretching. How important it was to keep all energy channels open. Both Erick Jimenez and Ohad Naharin reminded me how much stretching helps to awaken my body and let the flow of energy travel, even beyond the end points of my limbs. During the Gaga classes I added more layers to my stretching. I connected the effort to pleasure and removed it from the context of dance and into everyday life.
Stretching became a tool to explore new avenues of movement, driven by different “engines” and extending in all directions. One of the most helpful images for it came from Yaniv Avraham “expanding into all directions like piece of bread in water”.
I found that the teachers that most appealed to me have similar philosophies and approaches.
Both Zambrano and Ohad Naharin push you to be awake, to be alive, to be aware of the space around you, to challenge yourself. Grabbing your flesh, bones and muscles became an interesting concept that brought new sensations to my body.
What I enjoyed the most was reconnecting with my inner passion for dance, my playful self and the joy of movement.
I definitely slapped the dust out of my body and soul!
Photos: Maria Sotnic and Magdalena Bartczak