Earth-Honoring Dance: Isadora Duncan and the Creative force of Pleasure
November 20 2-5 pm. Led by Laura Melling
"Exuberance is beauty." -- William Blake
Dance, in its ancient expression, was practiced not as a form of entertainment, or exercise or catharsis. Throughout most of human history, dance was a path toward connection with the animals, plants, fairies, stones, angels, spirits, fields and waters that sustained our lives. Following this ancient way we discover that, when given space to expand into its natural state of ample connection, the body springs to life, full of pleasure and creative exuberance. Concentrating our attention on the body's capacity to connect to other-than-human realms, we begin to restore dance to its ancient roots... ...And discovering this expanded state of the body, we begin also to remember how to fully love the Earth.
Often called the 'mother of modern dance', Isadora pioneered radical, still largely neglected, reconsiderations in Western thinking about the Body, facilitating a remembrance of the connection between the Earth and Body-Wisdom. Because Isadora's work cannot be summed up as a set of ideas or concepts, her somatic practices remain generally incomprehensible to our mind-dominated mass culture. Rediscovering the somatic foundation of our connection to the vitality of Nature is the first step in restoration of organic pleasure.
Isadora's work can not be summed up as a set of ideas. The only way to comprehend her vision for the future is to engage in the somatic practices that led Isadora herself to re-discover her body's genuine senses of pleasure and Earth-connection.
Come join the loving band of dancers worldwide who have kept these incredible teachings alive for the past 100 years. Beginners Welcome. This practice is completely unlike any other existing movement training. Your own life experience is all you need to begin a practice in this method.
Pleasure & Creativity:
These workshops will teach theories, images & practices oriented toward the enhancement of these aspects of somatic creativity:
-Instinct: The subconscious psyche and somatic process are unified at the level of instinct. Pleasure, dreams, intuition, healthy aggression, sexuality, creativity, security, grounding and spirituality all share a single physical, instinctual source.
-Revelation: Direct connections to the voice of the Earth, to our dreams and our unconscious process, are necessary for the soul and spirit to participate joyfully in our daily life and decision-making.
-Ease: The body-soul finds its true center when held within an affirming, safe, group dynamic honoring the somatic foundation of life. The natural state of the body-soul is pleasurable ease.
-Ritual: Dance as a collective symbolic process strengthens the body-soul's ability to embrace light and darkness, cruelty and beauty, grandiosity and poverty as acceptable states of being. A person's capacity to affirm his or her own somatic experience as a source of creative inspiration is often vastly improved by participation in formal group movement.
Workshops will include: Bioenergetics (a 100+ year-old method for shaking open the nervous system) for stress release/grounding/physical renewal, Isadora Duncan's techniques & theory & work with relevant Mythology.
Register: By writing or calling firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 918-6183.
Fee: $40-60 sliding scale/ each workshop. Scholarships available to those who work as providers of holistic or artistic education for children and in service to the preservation of the environment.
Laura Melling, MA, IDMA, is one of a handful of teachers worldwide certified to teach the theory and movement of Isadora Duncan. Her work as a teacher and performer has received support from the National Arts Council of Ireland, the Isadora Duncan International Institute, and the state of New Jersey, among others. She has performed and presented throughout the US, and in France, Ireland, Ecuador, and many sites around Greece.
Isadora Duncan's dance is an invitation to:
-Align the Lower body with the Earth and its rhythms and align the Upper body with the Sky and its melodies.
-Align the Solar Plexus with the Horizon.
-Align to the Movement harmonies alive in Nature.
-Cultivate the Inner body temple and bring it outward into Earthly form.
-Cultivate a dynamic relationship between inward Repose and outward Expression.
Duncan dance is different from folk, ballet, contemporary and free-form dance practices, in that:
-Duncan training avoids defining the body or dance by reference to mental concepts. Duncan dance utilizes the body's own language -- somatic experience -- to address the body.
-Duncan classes avoid empty repetition of movement exercise. Duncan practices instead cultivate a sense of meaning and vision within movement, from the first class and onward.
-Duncan training, while involving extensive improvisation, moves beyond free-form, cathartic definitions of dance. Duncan practices cultivate attention toward the nourishing energies brought to life through intentional creation of movement form.
Isadora's method offers natural structures that support the body's deep desire for intimate, repeatable, dynamic communion with the Earth and its energies. Come get carried away!