Over the course of the next 20 weeks we will use a combination of dream journaling, butoh and gymnastics to create a new and engaging piece of devised dance theater which strives to inspires audiences to lead more holistic and integrated lives, bringing more of their full selves to each waking moment and promoting the kind of self-care and self-love which we have vowed to exercise as we delve into the darkest and most hidden corners of our own subconscious minds.
You are welcome to join us on this creative journey! Everyone is able to apply the techniques we will use to create Dream Dances to create an awareness and deeper appreciation of their own dream life. With practice, you can discover how your own dreams can enrich your waking moments and daily routine.
- Keep a dream journal. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. A simple spiral-bound notebook will do the trick. Alternatively, you could record your dreams digitally using apps such as "DreamZ." (The DreamZ app gives you the very handy choice of either typing or creating a voice recording describing your dream.). The most important thing is that you describe not only the content of your dream but also how you felt about what you saw or experienced both during the dream and when you woke up. Regularly recording what you experienced and how you felt about it can actually increase your ability to remember and - if you so choose - to interpret your dreams.
- Exercise your core. Over the next 20 weeks The Ume Group's newly expanded ensemble will be engaging in extensive training in the Butoh, which for us means a lot of work surrounding the core. This important part of our anatomy (which in the yogic tradition is associated with your willpower) is an important place of personal strength for performers and non-performers alike. A strong and sensitive core can anchor you as you enter risky or vulnerable situations. That includes any risk you take in business, interpersonal conflicts, confronting personal fears or in trying something new. Strengthening your core can also address a range of postural issues and provide a variety of awesome health benefits, especially for those of us who sit behind desks all day. Each of us can benefit in our daily lives from intentionally strengthening and sensitizing this important group of muscles. Check out videos on YouTube for specific ideas on how to best get in touch with your own core. We in particular recommend kundalini yoga, Pilates, as well as gymnastics strength training exercises such as tuck ups, pike ups, hollow-body holds, or "Supermans". Plank holds are also especially beneficial for the core as well as the upper body. Do a little research and experimentation and find out what core exercise suits you best and do it daily with the knowledge that this new strength will serve you in any and every area of your life.
- Find "wow" moments. A huge part of my personal choreographic practice centers around discovering moments which create a sense of "wow", amazement and inspiration for our audiences. For Dream Dances this means extensive training in gymnastics over the next 20 weeks, which should translate into some beautiful choreographed sequences of movement as well give us the strength and coordination we need to perform some beautiful partner work and acrobatic poses. We believe that these "wow" moments are essential. And the good news is that you can find "wow" moments in your own life! In our highly Butoh-driven brand of physical theater, gymnastic and acrobatic "wow" moments serve to create the breathtaking physical landmarks in our choreographic landscape, which make the suffering of the dancer as they transition from moment to moment feel purposeful and worthwhile. These "wow" moments in our performances, like the many amazing miracles which naturally occur in life, give purpose, context, and a sense of arc to our performances, which resonates with audiences as true to the way life works. In life we can endure the suffering of the present because of the beauty which has come before and we appreciate the beauty of what's to come, because of the suffering we're enduring now. Identifying your own personal "wow" in a day, in a week, or a month, can help give you a sense of purpose, of meaningful existence and of belonging to a bigger picture. (Whether or not you believe in any sort of divine power or fate.) Taking the time to savor, to appreciate, and to cherish these special moments in life can sustain us through times of hardship and struggle. So take note of the moments in your day that give you a sense of "wow."
So there you have it! Three tactics to help you follow in The Ume Group's footsteps as we embark on this strange and exciting journey into the personal and universal subconscious. Searching for something worthy of our audiences and worthy of our selves to call our art. Join us by practicing these three simple steps at home and in your own life. Let us know what you discover by commenting below. Also join us at Open Training on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at Grace and St. Paul's Church on the upper West side of Manhattan where you can experience some of the in the mental Butoh and gymnastic training underlying this creative process.
About the Author
www.jordanrosin.com //@JordanRosin //www.theumegroup.org