Closing time.

My time at Movement Research has come to an unfortunate close. I am obliged to say that this has definitely been the best internship experience I have had to date and my last week at the organization put the icing on the cake. This past week I had the opportunity to help staff members out with running the bi-annual MELT workshop series. We interns were in charge of opening/closing/cleaning the space (which belongs to a church), taking attendance for workshop attendees, and making sure that everyone in attendance had a safe an enjoyable experience. In exchange for helping with the space and answering attendees inquiries, the other interns and I were able to participate in the workshops. I took two workshops per day with RoseAnne Spradlin and Pooh Kaye. These workshops were definitely different from what I have been used to taking. Nonetheless, it was extremely refreshing. I had the opportunity to work on technique, composition, and meeting new people.

RoseAnne Spradlin’s workshop was heavily based upon Body Mind Centering technique which was developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. This technique is not as strenuous as say ballet or even some modern. Proprietors of this technique champion a holistic approach to movement. Dancers practcing BMC focus on the “based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical¬† and developmental principles, utilizing movement, touch, voice and mind.” In contrast to other dance forms I have practiced, this technique does not force its practitioners to aspire to a certain physical ideal. The dancer embarks on their own journey to explore how they can essentially train their bodies to become efficient and effective vesicles. I personally have never felt so much freedom in a dance class, it was wonderful. There was a lot of meditation, which aided us to becoming more sensitive to the subtleties of our bodies. We did some partnering exercises, which were meant again to help with that sensitivity and flexibility. Lastly, we “engaged” in a good amount of improvisational “jam” sessions, which allow dancers within a space to move however they choose within a set amount of time. At times, during these “jams” I would step out to observe the bodies in motion. It was beautiful and a bit hypnotic. The dancers if not at that point, were really trying to strive for freedom within their movements and to move by impulse and not for show. I hope to again encounter this technique in a class or workshop, but until then I will definitely apply that to my dancing endeavors. Below is the official website for Body-Mind Centering and also a clip of a dance piece that was inspired by BMC…

The next workshop I participated in was hosted by Pooh Kaye. Her workshop focused more on composition within dance. Though it was hard to get into at first, I quickly find myself admiring the creative capabilities of my classmates. We did a lot of group work in general that included Pooh giving us some sort of task to complete. For instance, we were once required to individually come up with one movement that either expressed suspension, collapse, or explosion. After that was set, we were given the task to combine these movements with our groups and figure out as many creative combination and transitions so that everyone’s movement would be included into an improvisational phrase. As in RoseAnne’s class, I felt a strong sense of freedom in doing what I wanted to do. I cannot wait to apply these ideas to my next choreographic projects this upcoming fall.

Participating in these workshop classes made me so much more appreciative of the balance between office work and training that Movement Research provides for their interns. This has by far been the best internship I have participated in thus far and I know this strongly rooted from me not worrying about the location of or pay rate, but from pursuing what I was truly passionate about. Though I wasn’t paid, I met and connected wiith so many creative, talented, and driven people, built upon my office and dance skills, and most importantly enjoyed every moment of it.

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