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The Art of Stillness Part II

By June 12, 2015No Comments

By Nimi Finnigan

As a dancer, how do you step into stillness?

How does immobility weave itself into the dance, the choreography? To quote an old ballroom instructor from Haiti,” the stillness needs to mean.” At Artfit, belly dance instructor Cheryl Bushey echoes the sentiment, ” your pose needs to be held with intent. A singular tension needs to vine itself through your body, all the way to your tippy-toes and the tips of your fingers.” In other words, the lack of motion is not just simply freezing, holding your body at one angle or another; it’s a quiet gathering and outpouring of energy. And that energy carries a particular weight to it, a particular feel.  For instance, the hunter in the woods, eyes locked and steady on his target, is still. The hunted prey, aware of the dangers of the environment, is also still. On both accounts, the nature and meaning of the stillness is different; the tension which animates the hunter’s body is very different from the one coursing through the prey. Consider stepping into stillness with intent. Make the moment “mean.” Step into stillness like the hunter in the forest, poised and ready and grounded, or the antelope,  light and furtive,  the stillness restless and agitated.

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