Monday, December 24, 2007

hunkering #2

Is that joy you are feeling, says Linda Putnam, or just gleeful rage?

Too tired to hold up the grin, I find only sorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I wonder if my body is changing.

Today, my eyeballs turned to liquid and became the same body of water as my sexual fluids, just as I tell people to do in my class.

There is something about feeling the adoration of students that brings up my fears of cronehood and questions about where my sexuality sits in the midst of my being an artist, being a teacher.


Apparently, Florence Nightingale, after nursing the crippled and wounded in the Crimean War, came home to her cottage in England and one morning decided never to get out of bed ever again.

I am back in Vancouver and am having a Florence Nightingale moment.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Today is the last day of our residency in Victoria. We have accomplished a great deal here but I am so tired. This last week, I have been on the verge of tears all the time from fatigue. I think everyone is feeling the same. There is a feeling of vulnerability and fragility in the air.

Time for the solstice hunker.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

dancing/not dancing

Extrapolating on Lisa's exercise I taught a class today that was an experiment on whether we could dance by not doing anything.

I gave a painfully difficult exercise of imagining the touch of our minds on 2 points on our body and a third point in space. Then, just observing the field as defined by these three points and being available to the exit from this field.

Miraculously, after almost two hours of people lying around in heaps on the floor (and a little nervousness on my part), they got to their feet and a most incredible dance occurred in the room.

I am excited by this.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

holding space

Today Lisa, the massage therapist joined us in our rehearsal and she taught us how to touch without wanting to affect. To touch in order to be. One just has to be available to the opening for touch and then to hold the space, to hold the field and be available for the exit.

Part of the artistic quest in Body-Scan for Benoît and me is how to insert the art action into the art object. How to affect people's bodies through the framework of a proscenium experience. The epiphany for me today is that in fact, in order to insert the action, one must relinquish one's desire to act. The force of action only creates calcification and hardening of the mind and body. In order for motion to be released, one only has to observe and listen to the field, as defined by more than one point in space.

I think I am beginning to understand this in terms of la vie as well as l'art.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Yesterday, I went for a walk through Beacon Hill Park...

and then spent an hour looking at the sea..

Saturday, December 15, 2007

touch and transmission

Two weeks ago, just before I left for Victoria, we went to the hospital to visit Yang Shifu, recovering from open heart surgery - a quadruple bypass at the age of 80. Slightly delirious from the drugs, he still managed to give us a lesson in theory. He said he had been using his time in hospital "researching 24-7".

I held his hand which was cold.

He joked that it was usually the other way around - my hands cold and his hands warm with qi, sending me energy. This time, my hands were warm. He held on, stroking them, accepting energy from me.

I rubbed his cold swollen feet on my lap and remembered him rubbing my aching ankle on his lap a few months ago.

Love given, love received, love moving in a circle.

Friday, December 7, 2007

dancing together

I am in Victoria, in residency - the second - for the creation of Body-Scan. This week, Benoît and I have been working on finding a way to dance together. It occurs to me that this whole piece is about us trying to find a dance together: how do we arrange these dancers around us, between us, so that we can find a dance that satisfies. How do we arrange our ideas, politics, aesthetics in and amongst ourselves so that we can dance together honestly and intimately.

On New Year's Eve, I shall be in Paris with Sébastien, just being. Aah, I said, ce serait comme un laboratoire. Researching what it means to be. Non, he said, pour ça il y a l'art, je te parle de la vie. I realise I have no idea what that means.

Today I taught a class about observing our failures and yielding to them without feeling the need to fix them. It was a good class. Then, in rehearsal, Benoît and I had a dance that was was unlike any dance I have had with anyone. Everyone said it looked great. Benoît said it felt delicious to him. It was so unknown to me I did not even know if it felt good to me.

My edges dissolve and I become formless.