The old year is dead… Long live the new year!
With the ending of 2012, our spirits take a moment between breaths to reflect on the past year and ponder what lies ahead along the long, winding path of 2013. Collectively we can but hope, as we step tentatively forwards into this year, that life will continue to teach us the lessons we most need to learn, so that little by little, our arrogance, delusion, fear, hatred, pride, judgement, and many more shadow-twists of the ego, are gradually worn down and smoothed away, so that one day we may become the Selves we wish to be.
An image comes to mind…
A piece of sea-green glass, that once upon a time believed itself to be a perfectly formed, elegant bottle… Only to one day be smashed apart and realise it was nothing but a broken, jagged, ugly, deformed object, capable of harming those it touched… That spent year upon long year at sea being pushed, pulled, tugged and drowned by waves unnumbered… Travelling to a hundred different shores and having its eyes opened to the vastness of life and the smallness of itself… Until, at last, it was humbled and realised it was a tiny piece of nothing, that had undertaken a journey that was everything, and it saw every other piece of anything as equally nothing and everything as itself… And it gave itself up to the command of the ocean, feeling deeply for every other piece of nothing and everything around it… Till one day, as a hand reached out to pluck it from the sand and marvel at it, it beheld itself to be a tiny, wondrous piece of rounded, softened, glistening, sea-green beauty… And it gave thanks to the relentlessly fierce push and pull of ocean waves that had eventually quenched its delusions and brought forth its beauty…
And then, the image fades again…
In its place, I am aware of the change of energy in the air. My husband Bruno and I both have new ventures to pursue this year in California, a little more than a year after we first began our life here together. 2013 has begun with a great deal of activity.
In just over a week I begin teaching some new dance classes, which I have called Ico-Dance, in two local cities (towns for English folk). The classes are for adults and are based on my own lifelong practise as a contemporary dancer and teacher. The word ‘contemporary’ implies many different things to many different people, not all of them positive, and it is not a word that always draws a crowd! But, what remains at the heart of contemporary dance, underneath the many associations that come with it, is creativity, the recognition that human beings need to move and be moved, and an ability to embrace just about anything.
‘Contemporary’ dance can be anything and mean anything… It is really just an umbrella attempt to name any dance that is NOT already named something else. Through the years, my relationship with it and the meanings I imbue it with have changed immeasurably. Today, what I value most from my many years immersion in dance of a contemporary nature, is the deep learning it has given me about what creative, flexible and intuitive dance can truly give to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Dance is nourishment, dance is therapeutic, dance is holistic, dance is any word you can think of that brings life, breath, energy and joy to your body, heart and head. And it is certainly not just for dancers!
From life’s earliest beginnings, creatures have enjoyed the pure pleasure of movement - flying, soaring, swimming, surfing, walking, running, leaping, stomping - it is just humans who sometimes forget this simple joy of existence. I am very grateful for having had dance as a central part of my life since I was three years old. Without it, I cannot quite imagine who I would be. Having said that, I am also glad that I moved away from dance for a couple of years, to be able to return to it with a renewed awareness of its unique gifts.
I will attempt to write more about Ico-Dance on this blog as this new year progresses, (just to confuse those of you who come here to read about marine conservation), but for now, please do visit my ICO-DANCE page for more information and if you are a local in San Diego county, do come and try a class and spread the word to others!
P.s. My apologies to the wonderful writers and photographers whose blogs I am following… I know you have all been writing prolifically through the festive season and beyond, and I have not visited your sites to catch up with your words for many weeks… I promise to visit soon and catch up on all I have been missing!