CSULB Modern III – Week 3: Patterns of Connectivity

This week we will focus on the POC’s as articulated by Bartenieff.

Here are a few more websites to peruse:



14 thoughts on “CSULB Modern III – Week 3: Patterns of Connectivity

  1. Last week in class, I found the Bartinieff techniques really helpful in finding release in movement and allowing parts of my body to align rather than “muscle” through exercises. Also, the combination we did on Friday, with 5 and 7 counts were a lot harder to pick up than I thought they would be. I never realized how much I tend to rely on more natural rhythms. It felt nice to mix it up a bit. 🙂

    • I agree with Jessie about finding the release in the movement. I tend to “muscle” through movement, specifically tendu and plie combinations. I feel that this week I’m starting to figure out how to relax in the movement. It’s a working progress.

  2. Today’s class was so different than any other class so far. A light switch on for me. It was almost like I cracked a layer down. The words that keep ringing in my head about class are “be who you are, dance like you, no one else”. Oh and also “breathe”. At the beginning of class when we were on the floor working on somatics, Gerald said that we do them to find how we move, not to try and get it to look like him, but ourselves. Starting off class with this really helped me to focus on myself and not worry about what it looks like from an outside perspective or what others might think. Without this insecurity I could truly find release and relaxation in my movement but at the same time a connection between ever limb. I did not have a fear of failing today. Now, the challenge will be how to trigger this every class on my own. and the journey continues…

    • I completely agree with Madison. When you said to us that you wanted us to move like ourselves rather than how “we think we should,” I felt a major release. Obviously we are working towards technical accuracy, but being told that its ok move how my body wants to is both exhilarating and terrifying. I’m excited to see what I can find in movement as we progress in the semester. 🙂

  3. I am starting to finding more of a flow in my floor work. For the first two weeks I felt really rigid and insecure. I am starting to find a pattern of movement that works for my body, and it is really helping my understanding of how I personally move. At first I was preoccupied with trying to perform the movement perfectly, and creating an exact replica of what Gerald would show. I feel a lot less insecure with the movement, and I am beginning to explore different avenues that I can take while executing an exercise. I am less preoccupied with trying to be perfect, and more focused on individual exploration of the movement.

  4. This week’s lesson really clicked with me. I feel like all of the exercises feel a lot more natural and I have been able to transition and flow through things without becoming “heady” about it. I think putting sounds and vowels to our movements really helped elongate all of my movement especially fondues and the various leg extension movements we’ve been doing. It makes the movement feel like taffy and it can go on forever. I think I’m going to keep exploring this type of movement for a bit..it’s a lot of fun!

  5. I really appreciate the beginning exercises that we did today (Friday). I hold my body very loosely and sometimes my body habitually gets segmented without any core support. Starting class with spinal flexion and extension woke up my lower abdominals which are hard for me to find. Surpisingly the kneeling-lunge with the spinal rotation helped me engage my abdominals which normally does not happen. I’m always shocked when the right warm-up makes the rest of the class much more effective.

  6. Last Thursday in ballet, Sophie asked us all why we like or dislike ballet. She said some like it because it’s codified, athletic, etc. Part of the reason why I like ballet is because it is codified (i.e. has a structure). I like knowing what I am doing and where things are suppose to go and do. Part of the reason why I am not always so fond of modern is because there are many times when there’s not a lot of structure (or at least does not appear to be to me). So when Gerald says things like what Madison was commenting on, “Be who you are. Dance like you, no one else,” sometimes, that’s hard for me to do, especially when I’m stressed like last week. I start going into auto-pilot. Sometimes, by dancing “like me,” I’m afraid of what will come out. This is something that I try to work on all the time. There are days when it is good, and others when it is not. It’s only the end of the 3rd week, so there’s time for progress.

  7. I agree with you Bridget! A lot of times, I prefer having a clear mold to try to fit into, because frankly, it’s easier than finding my own way of movement, especially on those days when it’s harder to focus. I agree that it is something I’m working towards. I also noticed this week that the left side wasn’t as scary to me as it usually is. I think I’m a very right-sided dancer, and I felt this week that my body was more balanced in doing a phrase or combination; that my weaker side wasn’t so weak. I think that it’s because of these fundamentals, paying equal attention to my body in warming up, and finding a better flow of my body’s own rhythm. For me, ballet and jazz are oftentimes all about ‘getting it’ on the right and then ‘trying’ the left, which I believe leads to many dancers being right dominant. These ideas of working for a head-tail connection or patterning body-half or cross-lateral is exercising the body as a whole, equally, and I think it has helped me start to find more coordination as a whole-bodied mover.

    • I agree Chloe, I think often times it’s so hard to reverse combinations when we develop them so much on the right side first. I think utilizing the cross laterals and body halves and then doing the right side and left side right after one another felt much more natural. That way I was never worried about if I was doing it perfectly, or having to work extra hard on my weaker side. Instead it had a sense of flow, and it was easier to make the exercise my own.

  8. Finishing this past week of class, I’m finally starting to get back into motion of things. I felt, like Nikita, that the first couple of weeks was rough due to the time off during the break and not dancing regularly. I’m finally relaxing more and releasing the stiffness and tension in my body to let it flow with the movement. I also really like that you release any tension in the class by adding humor to your teaching. Not only does this make the student comfortable with you as a professor/instructor but with the class as a whole.

  9. I like what Gerald said about the importance of each step even the little ones or transition ones, and how each movement and each detail is valuable. Sometimes I find that I skip to the larger movements and don’t pay attention as much to those in between.

    • I feel the same way. Gerald says, “Just say what you want to say,” and for me it’s as if my words are slurred. I’m finding that I need to calm down, breathe, and just speak clearly and concisely.

  10. These concepts are ones that have carried across the entire semester. I had never had a teacher break down body moves and explain them in this same way.

    Homologous, homolateral, contralateral etc., all movements that I have done before in my dancing life but they have never been given specific terms. Dance is so complex. There is so much to know and learn. It has been extremely helpful to be in a class that has such a clear and purposeful path because it has really helped me break things down and has allowed me to feel a connection with my body that I have never felt before.

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