Rising in Beauty

Rising in Beauty
Sky over North Park

Just Learning

Just Learning
Kitchen Studio

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mary Wigman

Brainy Quote has one quote from Mary Wigman:

"Strong and convincing art has never arisen from theories."

Wigman (1883-1973)had an enormous impact on the development of modern dance. She was the teacher of my teacher, Liljan Espenak, in Berlin between world wars.

The quote gives an idea of the direction of her impact: dancing from the heart, improvising, finding forms. This goes beyond the rigorous athletic training of a dancer, who must develop physical strength and balance, stamina and endurance, and a willingness to take on new gestures and dynamics, new vocabulary. It has more to do with choreography, with discovery of character and psychodynamics, as well as finding expressive movement specific to the dancer's body type.

Wigman contributed to the intellectual ferment of the period, interacting with anthropologists, psychiatrists and artists. They all attempted to understand human nature, human development, societal formation, religious impulse.

Espenak was a dancer and choreographer who became an Adlerian psychotherapist. She adapted her training to help people express themselves and heal themselves, by the truths emerging from their dance, not from theory.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It Had an Edge

There was feeling - this form wanted to come into being. I have not the skill. The arc insists. It exists. It wants body.

It had an edge, a silver edge along a bronze arc.
It may have been the silver sky and silver sea at Ocean Beach,
Or some abstract of the orbs that rivet my attention,
Planets, moons, that orange gray-scale wheel.

The dream state diffused from a hard-edged image that yet had softness,
the arcs rounded as if one side of pipes
or parabolic curves

The sky was transparent
blackness arced beneath the arcs
Art deco or 30's machine deco repetition,
Too perfectly curved, made with crayons and calipers -

What stylus drew, what black lead pencil stub
could be so huge -
The lever that could move a world?