[-empyre-] soft skinned - inner/outer spaces

Elisita Smailus elismailus at vtxmail.ch
Sat Oct 8 08:16:10 EST 2011

Dear all, listeners and readers as well as writers and movers,

How do dancers get in contact with existential grounds of their (un)consciousness in regard to the own psycho-physical personality in its multilayered contexts while also focussing on the interwoven dynamics of subjective and collective fields involved? 

“The fetus begins small, random movements, too slight to be felt. The fetal heartbeat can be detected [... .] All major external body features have appeared.“ [7] In conclusion of this essay, I would like to invite readers to existentially enter these words beyond mere cognition, entering with their corporeality and e/motions of thinking and feeling as to be aware of that, following the long chain of evolution, each of us evolves in such manner to discover, search for and research about being in its countless manifestations on this planet, in this universe. 

Continuing on these thoughts of Michael (citing Sebastian) - I would like to share with the resonating empyre that one way of "attentive listening" (as Johannes quotes Ingold) is listening and being aware of one's own breath, the own breathing rhythms, in and out, like waves, sometimes meditatively slow, sometimes fast with joy or through stress, sometimes blocked by fear, sometimes and other times breathing as if all the myriads of cells in our body were only one big cell, perhaps like the image of a jelly fish (these beautiful water creatures) the image of which can help us try to bodily create a feeling of growing and shrinking, expanding and condensing, opening and closing in a very organic and fluid way...  For me this is a good possibility of getting into contact with the existential ground of my being - following the long chain of evolution, the same way our fetal body goes through many stages of ontological development. So breathing into the threedimensional inner body space, filling the volume and shaping the bodily form in active stillness as well as shifting one's weight in contact with the floor, or the chair or the big ball, may connect us in a more conscious way to the outer world, bridging from me to you, from here to there - even without changing the place and in a very virtual way via computer. Breath is one of the fundamental developmental patterns every human being processes, especially in the first twelve months of life. Reconnecting with this stage allows heightened awareness which may be useful in the every day dialogue and relationship with the other and the world.

For more information on the ontogenetic, developmental process (which contains at least 6 very fundamental stages), I would like to mention three important somatic movement teachers (and their books) which help to awaken the awareness and perception of ones psycho-phisical personality and its multilayerd contexts throgh movement:

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen  'SENSING, FEELING, AND ACTION' - The Experiantal Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering

Irmgard Bartenieff (with Dori Lewis): 'BODY MOVEMENT' - Coping with the environment

Peggy Hackney: 'MAKING CONNECTIONS' - Total Body Integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals.

In the 'tanz' (German journal for ballet, dance and performance) edition august/september 2011 there is an interesting confrontation/discussion between the two body researchers a) Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen (founder of Body-Mind Centering who also studied with Irmgard Bartenieff) and b) Alva Noë (philosopher and cognitive scientist). I will try to give in short some  parts of this article which could be of relevance to the forementioned questions and statements.

 For Bonnie the mind and the body are unseparable, as every single cell and body tissue has a 'mind'. Thus body cells inform the mind as well as the mind informs the body. Kinesthetic Awareness can and should be trained as it will have therapeutic and creative effects, also for dancers who often remain stuck in the movement repertoire of a certain dance technique or style.

For Alva Noë, the separation of body and mind is only a cultural construct. One of his first books "Action in Perception" deals with similar questions as one chapter of Bonnies Book, namely "Perceiving in Action", dealing with the Developmental Process. The ideas of this process enriched his questioning to recognize that our biology is alrealdy being part of the universal dynamic action... Do cells own consciiousness and/or intelligence? And how may we learn through their action? Through their movement pattern? 

We move thoughts and thoughts move us, and speakting/skribbling/writing is one form of movement.
Also to be continued.... next week. 
Taking the weekend off-line


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