CSULB Modern IV/V – Week 14: Almost near the end

I realize I am a little late on my weekly blog post here. I am deeply engaged reading your papers for this class and I am thrilled that you had this opportunity to do some research and write about what we’ve explored this semester and what you’ve discovered on your own.

This week is our last week. Thank you for your patience with the screenings on Monday. I realize that many of you are graduating and were not even being screened. However, it was interesting for me to see you all interact with different material, a new teacher and different bodies. I see the clarity with which you work and the investigation to which you are committed, whether it is new material or familiar terrain. It is you that I see…and, with all of this somatics, what I see are the results of breaking down, closely observing, re-patterning and rethinking how you move and think.

On Wednesday we will do evaluations and then do a class and on Friday we will have our last class – a culmination of the semester’s content.

Thank you!

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4 thoughts on “CSULB Modern IV/V – Week 14: Almost near the end

  1. Yesterday’s screening process was an interesting one. After a semester of the same teacher in the same room and with the same bodies around me, I initially found it difficult to engage with different material. I found myself questioning why I may not want to do something different than Gerald’s regular material, and I found that the work we’ve been doing resonates so well with my body that it is reluctant to leave it behind. About halfway through the class when we started doing the across the floor combination, I began to think of how I could break down the movement and apply the many somatic principles we’ve worked on this semester. The things that came up were direct/indirect focus and movement quality, patterning through the body in a cause and effect manner, and an easy way of working through my spine and out my head and tail. With anything, I found I could trust my body to solve the problem when faced with new material and unfamiliar phrasing.

  2. Like Tamara, I felt that it was difficult to switch gears in the screening class, especially amid a huge class of unfamiliar faces. In observing the Modern IV/V students perform Nick’s phrase work, I was overcome with an enormous sense of pride and gratification. It’s so wonderful to be a part of a class that emits so much positive energy and moves with such strength. We’re definitely a talented bunch, and I see Gerald’s lessons apparent in each one of us. So… thank you all for inspiring me!

    On a different note, I find myself applying our somatic practices outside of modern class on a daily basis. Specifically, I performed a solo in Martha B. Knoebel for lighting class today, and understandably, I was slightly nervous. I found myself struggling to maintain balance as I lost an absolute connection with the floor. However, I then remembered the power of my feet. I placed all of my attention into feeling the floor throughout the entire surface of my working foot. Like magic, I was grounded and stable!

    Although I’m bummed that this class is ending, I feel empowered and ready to apply my exploration in somatics to my future dancing.

  3. The blog! The blog has haunted me these past few weeks as something that needed to be attended to but, like the many phone calls and text messages I forget to respond to, I kept forgetting to actually respond. So, here in the eleventh hour, now that classes are finished, I have remembered (finally!) to comment. The benefit now is that I can reflect on the totality of the semester, commenting largely on the class, rather than the blog specifically.

    I’m overwhelmed with the amount of writing I have been doing lately, and I still have pages upon pages to write, so this comment will be brief, but I need to share the ways in which this class has been profoundly changing for me. The introduction and integration of multiple somatic practices has offered many opportunities for new, exciting personal explorations. These changes have allowed me to feel both more relaxed and confident as a mover thereby allowing me to dance, present in my body, making choices in each moment. A sense of awareness and interest has come to replace the (usually negative) stream of self-criticism I used to dance with. I have likewise been practicing applying this reflective, choice-making, positive approach to my life in general. This larger shift is more difficult, but still expands the ways in which I conceive the world I live in. Of course this will be an on-going process but, the difference in the felt experience gained through this course is truly amazing. I’m obsessed with moving! Gracias.

  4. There are many things on my mind at the end of this semester that I am so grateful to have learned in this class. I would never have imagined delving into a deeper understanding of somatics (which would have been so helpful as a younger student), having freedom to play with a wide range of movement qualities, taking notice of my habits and what to strengthen or let go of, uncovering the path of being a “genuine” mover and artist, all while having a mentor that encourages these practices and brings them to light. Throughout most of my dance training, I have been told exactly how to move and whenever I get the chance to put myself into the movement, I become invested and creative in ways that are continuously fresh to me.

    I loved our somatics paper assignment, as it got me to research different sources of information before I chose to talk about Irmgard Bartenieff. The project opened up a new world of possibilities within movement that I could become more involved in, increasing my knowledge and awareness of the body. Maybe I’ll join a movement research group? Maybe I’ll study the benefits of physical therapy? Maybe when I ultimately reach one of my goals of being a teacher, I’ll pass down the information I was lucky enough to learn and benefit from? So much to think about and consider. I am so glad for it.

    Placement class on Monday was a really enjoyable surprise, as I did not expect as much physicality as we executed. I always appreciate a nice balance between theory and application. I felt like that was accomplished. A significant lightbulb that went off in my head was that Nick’s movement was visually quite different from what we’ve been doing all semester, but I discovered ways in which his movement was already like what we knew. Because I was able to find familiar patterns, intent, movement quality, and focus, I did not stress myself and had a good time. In the end, everything is relevant, nothing is permanent, and there is not just one way to go about things. Everything you know can be applied to a situation in some way. Maybe this is the biggest thing I have gained from this class. I plan to take all these lessons learned into my ever-changing future and look forward to how it can continually benefit my life!

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