100 (or more!) days of Dance for Anna

Anna Halprin Blog HEADER

I had this idea before COVID19 sealed us all at home and took away many of our livelihoods and brought so much of work, play and social lives online. Dancing every day for 100 days leading up to her Birthday on July 13th 2020, beginning April 5th felt like a simple and appropriate way to honour the Life and 100th Birthday of an incredible Woman and Dance Artist who has and continues to inspire so very many people around the world in so very many ways..

However, it seems even more apt to continue this practice in these times as Anna’s work and legacy are nothing if not responsive to the wider world around us.

nb: As the 100 days progress I will use this page/ link to detail information about Anna and her legacy

The Tamalpa Life/Art practice, created by Anna and her daughter, Daria, also holds fundamental an honouring of however you are, how you are feeling physically and emotionally in the moment, so I am TRYING to let this influence me in not feeling guilty about being rather slow and inefficient to start this practice. I am locked down away from home wth some lovely friends and also quit cigarettes to increase my lung health which is making me incredibly spacey. I also developed a huge Rash the weekend of April 5th and though I managed to Zoom with 15 wonderful friends from around the world I was immediately laid low and slept almost all the way through..

An idea that was a side idea became the main idea due to a virus that was nobodies idea.. or was it? We have no idea

To dance everyday
But actually
Can I confess?
I didn’t feel like it
Just some of you told me
It was a good idea
To Zoom and Dance every week
But my heart wasn’t in it
I was in a state of shock
BUT
I’ve been in a state of shock these past 3 long years
And had finally gathered my forces together again and..
WHAMMO!
LIFE Happened

But it’s true
Dancing got me through
(those 3 long years)

And now I have to say
THANK YOU
For reminding me to DANCE
I got to see your faces
I’ve danced myself into a sweat when I didn’t think I wanted to at all

Today I danced my fury, frustration, sadness danced back into a delicate joy
With those Sparrers in the trees
Flowers in the new leaves on the vine that looked dead
Dead Thyme, New Thyme
Mint abundant
Many voices playing in pleasure
Creating

I danced
6 minutes how my body was feeling (though my emotions were tumbling in.. always interesting to notice what is dominating today)
6 minutes how my emotions are doing today (after a horrible interaction with a beloved friend)
6 minutes on my mind

And the Body and the Plants and the voices of the birds and the people and energy I hadn’t thought I had and thoughts that were all muffled and trapped unfurled like those ferns turned my face to the Sunshine.. got some stomping done and found the delicacy.. the threads between us all I always find when I dance.. a weaving mime but maybe not a mime at all as they’re real aren’t they they’re real

Today all I can think of is the Dance Farm but this little patch of concrete at the top of a Suburban garden is as good a place as any to unfold these dreams first dreamed when all the plants were in pots all around me behind windows of glass. Its an unknown thing especially in these times but all I can do is re-imagine and hope to create and I’m tired of doing it here where the imagination remains so 20th century and I don’t know how to develop my thoughts except through dance, except through connection

I DANCE A MULTILOGUE

Since that time we have shared many Dance Zooms on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights plus one deep and delicious full Moon Zoom on the Super Flower Moon eve of Thursday May 7th

Garlic and Sapphires in the mud

Clot the bedded axle-tree

At the still point of the turning world

… there the dance is

We must be still and still moving

Into a further intensity

For a further union…

In the end is my beginning

T.S. ELIOT: FOUR QUARTETS (Burnt Norton)

 

Daily Dances

Dance when you hear birds sing
Dance when an emotion begins to overwhelm you
Dance for your Supper
Dance to the music
Dance alone
Dance with a friend
Dance with a lover
Dance with a child
Dance on-line
Dance IRL
Dance to social distance around a stranger
On the pavement
In a shop
In a field
On a Promenade
On a beach
Dance to the Wind
Dance to Blossoms or Leaves swirling in the Wind
Dance in the Sun beams
Dance between the Raindrops
Dance when you’re Happy
Dance when you’re Sad
Dance when you’re in a raging fury
Dance very Slow
Dance Fast
Dance to a regular beat
Dance to a syncopation
Dance to the rhythm of your own Breath
Dance to the rhythm of someone else’s Breath
Dance to the movements of a plant in the Wind
Dance to the movements of a Bird in Flight
Dance to the movement of a plant from the ground
Dance to an Airplane’s arc and pollution trails across the Sky
Dance to the memory of somebody you miss
Dance with an imaginary friend
Dance to the sounds of the Animals nearby
Dance to the sound of a distant Car
Dance to the movements of a Fly or a Bee

Or…?

May 20th 2020

It’s my friend Nanouche’s Birthday. Nearly 4 years ago she told me she was going to do a weekends workshop based on Anna Halprin’ work in Folkestone. I’d long followed Anna’s work and so asked if I could tag along. It was about a month before I had to leave my lovely home of 12 years (due to 150% rent rise) not knowing where next to go. The weekend showed me a brilliant method of processing strong thoughts and feelings creatively and I decided immediately to embark on the trainings. I also had no particular feeling for Folkestone except that it was beside the Sea and I knew nowhere else to go (being a Londoner through and through and feeling that “my” London was over to too large an extent it hurt). Now all these years later I’m planning to move on again (posssibly to Portugal where incidentally Nanouche is currently in Lockdown) a bit up in the air about when and how I’ll complete Tamalpa level 3 and some days I’ve danced and some days I didn’t, with friends, alone, on Zoom and jitsi, in my bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the garden, beaches, the forest and in some ways I’ve felt more connected to others than I have for most of these long 3 years in a small town. There have been some deep losses also during these times, losses of very dear ones and also the deep worry of a beloved life long family friend alone in a care home not knowing why no-one is coming to see her, the beloved nephew (who was also my student briefly) in intensive care. I had an amazing dance last week of my love for lost and alone dear ones in the inspiration of my wonderful dancing goddaughter Camille’s Jitsi class/ ritual which in the end brought forth the tears I ‘d been holding inside that I needed to release.

This inspires me to a new framework for daily dances. I will begin today: A dance for Nanouche’s Birthday and then a drawing I will send to her (Many friends are requesting more analogue forms of communication). I will then dance and draw for Ollie, for Camille, for Ruth, for Suresh, for Cader, bless and honour and feel in kindness both to myself, to the subject of each dance and those who love them (those who are gone I’ll send the pictures to their left behind)