This workshop was on Saturday 29 July; part of Contact meets Contemporary 2017.
The workshop could be paraphrased as: doing more with less. Aspects of it resonate with Steve Paxton’s notion of the small dance.
We lie on the floor of Studio 3 on our our back looking at the ceiling; guided by a narrative which Dino speaks. We release the tension within our bodies and indeed our mind. He draws attention to our breathing and being present.
It’s an emotional journey for me; tears well up in my eyes. There is the release of memory, and past events. After five days of Contact meets Contemporary, I am also fatigued with less sleep and rest than I need.
Dino asks us to use our tongue to initiate small movements: pressing it on the back of our teeth, and then the roof of our month. I feel a small rocking of my head: is my tongue dancing or my head?
Laying on our back, we lift our knees and place our feet on the ground. Our pelvis is in neutral now. Dino brings our attention to our breathing and using it to initiate rocking through the spine and pelvis with our breathe.
There is the invitation to roll to our side; rotation in our spine and movement through our body – across the floor. Bodies meet in incidental contact; interplay and exchange. Or like me, moving but no distance.
Now we stand, and I partner with Yuliya Miloslavina, and we follow Dinos directions. Yuliya says ‘Touch me’ and I bring my hands to rest on her neck and shoulder. I’m reminded of an exercise where we fill the touch by moving into it. We exchange roles. ‘Touch me’, I say to her. This explicit giving of permission feels so different to one where the teacher asks it, of all the class. There is the waiting; the anticipation and the delight of the request fulfilled.
Dino continues with another similar exercise but as he explains, he stumbles slightly in his delivery. But we are enthralled by the power of the previous exercise – touch me; and he’s urged to continue. He shows how we can bring the most subtle movement of our hands on our partner’s body but without massage, simply placing and pressing. We start the exercise and without prompting Yuliya places her hands on my ankle. Then we swap roles, and discuss the exercise. I say to Yuliya that she chose my right ankle which has an injury, and she replies: ‘Yes, I’m a healer’.
Dino Spiri’s website: http://dinospiri.com/
[Top Photo: Ceiling of Studio 3 where this workshop was held (July 2017) by Andrew Wood.]