A lot has been going on since my last post. I am personally dealing with a torn meniscus, but fortunately am able to dance in our Fighting Monkey workshop that we have been doing the past two weeks.
Going into Fighting Monkey, I was expecting to come home bruised and destroyed every night.. or even worse not even be able to participate because of my injury. However, Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea helped us to explore first and foremost our humanity above anything else.
Instead of starting each day thinking of “dancing” on stage, Josef would tell us to simply walk and always be mobile throughout our whole body. Most of the work would be in partners; we would grab our partners wrists or hold different sides of a stick to interconnect and as one person would manipulate the other would be affected starting at the wrists and going into the elbows, shoulders, head, spine, legs, and then to the feet.
The afternoons were dedicated to a set choreographed structure of “fighting monkey.” What I thought would be a series of trying to escape kicks and hits, was a set structure that worked WITH your partner and not AGAINST. We also learned how to react with any manipulations that were put on us, instead of going against them we would go with the force of each manipulation. Doing that keeps us away from harm, as well as teach us awareness of our surroundings and our own bodies.
We’d end our days doing some actual hand labor and I have the blisters to prove it! We took a block of wood and axed it into a circle… or as close to a circle as we possibly could. That sort of labor was completely inspiring to us all as we discovered that we weren’t just chopping wood to make a shape, but creating. All of what we did with our spheres was directly related in how we approach dance. In every human action that we do in life, as well as the 5 social forces (being culture, society, technology, economy, and politics) are what influence our dancing.
I am extremely excited to perform all that we have learned from Josef and Linda and am grateful for all they have shared with us.