We are rehearsing this piece in the form of “Solitudes,” in which we move on our own; and “Connections,” in which we dance with each other via remote platform, such as Zoom. In its original inception we had imagined rehearsing in the park, collecting a large group of people to join us for filming - holding hands, intertwining limbs, and dancing together.
Then COVID happened.
We are left reimagining the act of sharing. We would love you, all ages and with any amount of movement experience, to participate in this piece. We invite you to do our prompts and add your physical research to ours. We welcome multi-disciplinary responses; feel free to submit movement video, sound, visuals, text, as you wish.
We are midway through this process. As we continue, as you join us, this piece (this site) will grow and evolve.
We leave you with this thought. c This is one tiny exploration of how our bodies might connect to a larger story in one specific place and time. We'd love your company.
Thank you for joining us,
Navarra & Carlos
"Solitude #1 (The Present)" rehearsal:
Part 1. 10 minutes Sitting meditation
Sit still outside, in the middle of an open space if possible
5 minutes observing layers of sound
5 minutes observing layers of movement
Part 2. 15 Minutes- Moving Meditation
5 minutes influenced by the layers of sound
5 minutes influenced by the layers of movement
5 minutes dancing "with yourself" in the space
Part 3. Record yourself moving for 1 minute
Use any, or all of above ideas
upload HERE with Name and Solitude #1
Call someone on Zoom
Part 1. Indeterminate amount of time
Pin your partner’s video and dance with them, referencing the solitude #1 experience, imagining physical contact and action/response.
Part 2. Indeterminate amount of time
One person narrates one half of a duet in the form of vocal physical directions.i.e., “I am holding your hand, I pull you gently to the left, we climb a ladder, I touch your back, we spin across the floor…” The partner dances doing what is being narrated.
Part 3. Record 1 minute and upload HERE with Name and Connection #1
"Solitude #2 (The Past)" rehearsal:
This week's rehearsal is more an exercise in imagination than in observation. Consider a moment in the past, be specific (10 years ago, 100 years ago, etc.), though feel free to toggle around.
Part 1. 15 minutes- Sitting Imagining
Sit outside if possible.
5 minutes imagining what the space looked like/what movement filled it
5 minutes imagining what the space sounded like
5 minutes imagining a person from that time moving in that space
Part 2. 15 Minutes- Movement
5 minutes influenced by what the space looked like/movement in the space
5 minutes influenced by imagined sound
5 minutes moving with the other person
Part 3. Record yourself moving for 1 minute
Use any, or all of above ideas
upload HERE with Name and Solitude #2
“Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.”― Richard Powers, The Overstory
“Philosophers call this state of isolation and disconnection “species loneliness”—a deep, unnamed sadness stemming from estrangement from the rest of Creation, from the loss of relationship. As our human dominance of the world has grown, we have become more isolated, more lonely when we can no longer call out to our neighbors. It’s no wonder that naming was the first job the Creator gave Nanabozho.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
“Recent studies and discoveries increasingly point out that we heal primarily in and through the body, not just through the rational brain. We can all create more room, and more opportunities for growth, in our nervous systems. But we do this primarily through what our bodies experience and do—not through what we think or realize or cognitively figure out.” Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother's Hands, Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
“When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi.
But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.”
“You can neither lie to a neighborhood park, nor reason with it. “Artist's conceptions” and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighborhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use." ― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
"You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways. But even now, after an immense journey in separate directions, that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes."
― Richard Powers, The Overstory
"But the change of mind I am talking about involves not just a change of knowledge, but also a change of attitude toward our essential ignorance, a change in our bearing in the face of mystery. The principle of ecology, if we will take it to heart, should keep us aware that our lives depend upon other lives and upon processes and energies in an interlocking system that, though we can destroy it, we can neither fully understand nor fully control. And our great dangerousness is that, locked in our selfish and myopic economics, we have been willing to change or destroy far beyond our power to understand. We are not humble enough or reverent enough."
Wendell Berry, Think Little
“There are more life forms in a handful of forest soil than there are people on the planet.”
“Conventionally, neighbourhood parks or parklike open spaces are considered boons conferred on the deprived populations of cities. Let us turn this thought around, and consider city parks deprived places that need the boon of life and appreciation conferred upon them. This is more nearly in accord with reality, for people do confer use on parks and make them successes – or else withhold use and doom parks to rejection and failure.”
Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities