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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Energy Dancing with a "Water Feeling": Flowing and Swirling Motions

Playing with Water Energy in Dance: Flowing and Swirling and "Fluid" Motions

The Autumn Equinox marks the transition from the fire energy of summer to the water energy of fall. The notion of having different "elements" (air, earth, water, and fire) comes from our classic Western European esoteric tradition, which teaches that each quarter is governed by a "suite" (swords, pentacles, cups, and rods), and that each of these "suites" is respectively associated with an "element."

This is important for us not just because of our Western European cultural heritage, but because these various "suites" also connect us to growth stages identified in the Kabbalah, which is the earliest known "roadmap" for personal growth (leading, potentially, to God-realization). In a much more immediate and practical vein, these various "elements" connect us to a feeling of what is going on in our environments, and to how our bodies react to the changing seasons.

The "Ace of Cups" - the ultimate symbol for water energy.

It makes sense for us to invoke water energy into our lives after the fire energy of summer. This often correlates with what is going on in our weather, as well. After a late summer drought, we get rains once again. September is, in fact, a prime time for hurricanes!

And whether or not we've quenched the fire energy of our summer by going to the beach (getting a water energy infusion), by the end of summer, we're often "burned out." We desire not only the coolness, but the "swirliness" of water.

Practically speaking, how do we take this into our dance?

There are certain kinds of movements that almost shout water energy to us:

  • "Rounded" movements such as hip circles, rib cage circles, and figure-eights,
  • "Snakey" movements such as snake arms,
  • "Flowing" movements such as many veil patterns - whether done around our bodies while we are in one place, or as we move across the floor.

There are also certain rhythms - or musical sections - that speak a "watery" language to us:

  • Chifti tellis,
  • Taxims, and
  • "Lyrical" beledis.

This autumn, we'll be studying and building choreographies with each of these different "watery" feelings.

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