Monday, 22 April 2013

Ruth Mills Dance Spring Intensive

This wasn't my first experience of dancing with Ruth, but it was my first time at one of her intensives...and my girls weren't telling me was everything I needed and more!

The technique classes were exhilarating  exhausting, inspiring, energising, demon-butt-building, side-stretching hours of bliss. Starting with Mills' own technique and then moving onto release gave a great start to each day, my body soon remembered where those muscles were that I only use when I dance.

The afternoons were themed on duets and partnering, and this is where I felt out of my depth. I have danced my whole life, but apart from rock n roll, I have always been alone. Working with someone else, with my eyes closed, feeling them move with and against me was a strange but amazing experience. At times it really didn't feel like we were dancing at all, I worried that I was moving awkwardly and nothing felt like it flowed. I believe that the satisfaction of contact will come with time, I just need to relax into it and respond creatively as I feel.

At the end of the intensive, Ruth gave a lecture on some things that have been interesting her, one being the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. My two worlds felt like they were colliding...finally someone who was living in dance was also saying they were fascinated by maths and physics. I get fed up defending myself to people who don't understand how you can be creative and scientific all in the one brain. So now I won't...if they don't find both intriguing and don't want to believe that they are interconnected then it is their loss.

The dance/science lecture set me up for the sharing which followed. Having missed the final morning, I didn't have a lot to share, but everything I had learned technically and mentally during the intensive allowed me to enjoy every second. I felt connected to the material myself and my partner had created and I felt confident that if one of us forgot what came next that we had each other to explore and figure out where to go next. I have never had that feeling before, in any previous sharing or performance.

The final icing on the cake was that a friend actually came to see the performance. None of the friends I have known for years seem interested in dance, so when my lovely artist friend Sarah said she would love to come I was so so excited. Having her there was amazing, and I learned about how she can work as an artist while I danced, using gesture drawing as her focus. The drawings were nothing like anything I've seen before. They were dynamic and intricate and I felt like they radiated the energy we gave when dancing.

This intensive opened my eyes to a new way of moving, thinking and feeling. I can't wait for more.