Category Archives: Philosophy

Humans on Stage by UT

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a dance concert at the David Falk Theater in Tampa performed by the department of Dance from the University of Tampa.

I was able to witness two performances. One was a choreography by Susannah LeMarquand and the other,  the Spring Dance Concert, directed by Susan Taylor Lenon. Both performances had a substance rare to find in dance. (Taking into account that we are living in a industrilized society and we are taking arts in a superficial way in many occations.)  As an audience member I am  looking forward to enjoy the performance, but I also want the dancers on stage to transmit something to me. I believe that as we take the opportunity to be on a stage, we have a huge responsability and it is to put purselves vulnerable to an audience and transmit a message, story or emotion. Dance was created to communicate between people a thousand years ago, now we use it as an art or a hobby, but we must not forget that our body is our number one tool to send messages between us. So it doesn´t really matter how you move, you are allways sending a message, it can either be an intentional one or a mediocre one.

Specially on Susannah´s choreography a lot of emotions were being portraid on stage. It was an intense performance and as the choreography kept going and you as an audience member could relate to the dancers and this made the message  more powerful. I felt alive and honored to be there  sharing some of the emotions that the dancers were transmiting so passionately. It was work with substance and meaning.

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The dancers answering some questions by the public.

The Spring Dance Concert was as awhole an enjoyable show. It had a little bit of everything regarding dance types, but none of the pieces were senseless or meaningless. It demonstrated an work ethic that I believe is worth imitating and admiring.

The whole point of me bringing this up is because there is a huge responsability and an honor to the action of performing on a stage. You are taking your audience on a journey and to not diminish the art it is crucial to explore your own being in order to perform. I was intrigued by the fact that this performances were adressing the point that dance is not only about the tricks and the cool movements, it is also ( if not specially) about what you are transmiting to others. Which, in my opinion, speaks deeply about the meaning of dance.  We have to learn how to be human beings on stage and that is probably a much harder and deeper work than learning all the technical tricks.

It never get´s easier

The other day I was doing my Ballet class and sweat was dropping down my face. My feet were hurting, my legs were shaking and my brain was commanding my body to keep going and finish the exercise. After that one I continued with the next one and the next one. While doing it, I kept telling to myself, how is it possible that after 6 months of class this is even harder and harder. Each class I have to concentrate more, hold longer, kick higher and go on point for more exercises. This just never gets easier!

 

Ballet, as everything else, has layers and layers of knowledge so as you keep working and working and learning new steps and details, the class instead of getting easier it gets more complex. You start building upon what you learned last class, so you end up thinking about what you learned last class and what you are learning this one. You have to connect the correction about the foot with the one about the head. You have to pull yourself up and go down on a plié. Kick your leg high and ground your support leg as if it is the roots of a tree.

 

These layers of knowledge are visible until you understand the layer beforehand. You start translating what you see into a feeling and an understanding that your own body can reproduce. You hold the opposites I was talking about, but after you tried the step a million times and something doesn´t work. So you add knowledge from a deeper layer and it makes it more understandable. After that you add a connected step that builds upon your previous knowledge… and so it keeps going and going.

 

Truth is, nothing in life gets easier, it just changes. Problems, obstacles and all that comes in our ways become always proportional to what we can confront in the present moment. So the amount of energy we put to what we do is proportional to what we can do, and it feels hard when we are truly changing and growing. Learning is breaking our old patterns and acquiring new. Learning is an uncomfortable process that takes energy and practice, which is probably what, makes it so much fun.

 

What is comfortable and too easy loses its grace and entertainment too fast. Complexity and difficulty is more interesting and hooks you into thinking and discovering. Probable a rea son why dancers love dance so much.