Apparently I’m not making much distinction between drawing and dancing.
Creating a dance solo this winter brought up super basic questions like “why do I dance?” and “who am I?”. Impossible to answer of course but it allowed to lift some fog on what now seems like obvious milestones in my path thus far: trying a dance class and sucking at it and quitting in 2004, trying yoga right after and sticking to it forever. Trying a improv class in 2009. Seeing a Short & Sweet in 2010. Taking a clowning workshop in 2011. Trying another dance class in 2011 and then sticking to it forever.
In fact that dance class I took in 2011 came during a period where I was compulsively drawing. Sometimes I spent 6 hours at the café drawing with dozens of markers spread out on the table. I was that guy. After that first ballet class I had a vivid feeling of Here’s something I can do 6 hours a day.
The movement continues everywhere. The fact that I’m doing stuff we call “artistic” and the fact that we categorize the outcome of someone moving with ink as “drawing” and of someone being witnessed moving as “dancing” is a social construct. I guess people do PhD about that. But I feel it all in my fingers and arms and pelvis when I draw or dance.
Committing to creating a dance solo, the questions this commitment brought about, and the people who were with me during this period opened a portal that encompasses many pathways in me. It is as though some large nerve conducts going from my brain to my guts and legs were no longer running in parallel but more together.
I recognize important experiences when something changes in the way breathe. Some dance training or meditation methods explicitly try to make you that noticing happen. But without specifically intending to do so, I ended up learning a lot about that during my research. Taking out my notebook and drawing in the dance studio was one of the best things I’ve done. Not sure why but it turned out to be important.
I have a lot to unpack from the experience of creating a dance piece. But the experience of setting out to create something was itself one an act of unpacking. That cyclical aspect of creating is enough to keep me going. So I will.
Thanks to everyone accompanying me in this ongoing adventure. Making a solo has been everything but a solo experience for me. Thank you for that.
Il parait que c’est sous le soleil de midi que tu dois pratiquer le yoga quand t’es sérieux. Ça tombe ben le docteur m’a dit que je manquais de vitamine D.
Pis pour pimenter ta pratique, garoche 5 feux autour de toi. Ça tombe bien ma carte de Moksha vient d’expirer.
And the tadpoles swimming
My path of least resistance takes me the pen and paper. Sometimes it takes me to the mountain for a run, or a walk. Or to bed. Sometimes it takes me in the opposite direction. To the box of cookies or to facebook or back to bed, snooze after snooze.
We have our tendencies, sometimes towards health, sometimes towards illness. Sometimes towards strange places that have no name.
Think of how your inspiration and your motivation fluctuates over a single day. The networks of nerves and tissues in your body are constantly rearranging themselves, the mesh of relationships with people and things is in constant flux. Together they suggest your next priority. What’s your impulse right now?
I love these books. They allow for switching pages around. You can take out a page, scan it and put it back. Or put down schedule stuff on disparate pages and later merge them next to each other. Atoma notebooks, available at Nota Bene on Avenue Du Parc.
I don’t have much time to draw these days. But I do. A few minutes are satisfactory sometimes. I realized how specific my craving for the sensation of drawing is. These days it’s Pigma Micron 01 skating on the surface of Atoma paper that turns me on.
A few years ago journaling turned into drawing. It was quite obvious that the meaning of the words in writing my stream of consciousness was far out-weighted by the act of writing itself. I kept my hand moving and words turned into doodles. I kept my hand moving some more and eventually my whole body followed.
These days I mostly dance. The movement you don’t see on the page is now happening on stage. I’m taking part in a show called Humanity Projects at Place Des Arts until February 24. Come check it out.