How can the senses (and how they are used) serve as the basic choreographic framework for a dance?
I keep coming back to this question.
Darrian and I have been practicing noticing as the starting point for dancing—what we pay attention to affects how we respond with movement.
I’ve thought about how these sites (the walkway, the driveway, and the carport) are “non-places”—places to be passed through rather than destinations in their own right. They are places where people relieve their dogs and park their cars and travel to their homes and deposit their trash, but not places where people linger on purpose. They are hot and dusty and smell like waste as the temperature rises.
I’ve been noticing that the more we work in this location, the harder it is for me to glean information from the site. Each time I pass by the same aloe plant, I notice it less. I guess our brains are calibrated to survey our environment for change rather than to continue wasting our attention on repetition. I see the aloe plant there and move on. Sometimes I hardly even see it.
Instead, I notice the stray cats because they keep appearing in new places. I notice the sun and shadows as they shift. I see the carport and how it’s empty during the day and full at night. I delight in the cool breeze that sweeps the western side of the building and ruffles my clothes and hair. Yesterday’s fallen hibiscus flowers are dry and papery. The tenant upstairs turns on an air conditioner, creating a tiny waterfall that accumulates in a small oasis in the dust. I am amazed by how much intimate information I accumulate by accident about the lives of the people living on the other side of the hedge.
For me, the challenge in this practice is to find ways around the mental filter that simplifies and streamlines my experience. This mode we cultivate in six somewheres is the opposite of “moving right along” and, when successful, doesn’t skip over any details. All information is relevant and useful.