last blog I talked about this powerful film “pina” that I had just watched. well, I watched it again this weekend, and quite possibly love it more.
one of the pieces that she herself performed in is entitled “café muller”. the stage is vast and littered with empty chairs, and two of the dancers have their eyes closed the entire time. moving, sleep walking/running around the stage, while a man acts as a “spotter” of sorts, flinging chairs wildly out of the way cutting a path for them. the piece was first staged in 1978 and then re-staged in 2008. pina said that in the re-staging, she was unable to get the same feel, the same intensity and could not figure out why. finally, she figured out that although the eyes were closed, where the gaze was directed mattered. “whether you were looking down at the floor, or up and out towards the audience made all of the difference in the world. it changed everything.”
at our last ecstatic dance, we were blessed with an unexpected gift. a woman in our dance tribe had a friend from brazil who was visiting , who is a d.j. and musician. what if he did live music for our dance? I loved the idea and was excited to spring the surprise on everyone.
thiago was born blind. during his life he has had many eye surgeries and now is “legally blind, “ so he can see some color and shapes. what is incontestable is that his heart vision is 20/20. kind, easy to be with, easy to laugh, gentle energy. straightforward. highly intuitive.
a friend and I had dinner with our friend jill and our new friend thiago, and we got to talk, to share a meal and some wine and listen to him play. we were all excited about the collaboration.
on Saturday when we got to the space and began setting up the altar, etc., Thiago was setting up his computer and keyboard station and he asked me if this was the lighting we would be having, these harsh fluorescents. I said, no there would be many, many strands of Christmas lights and that we had a laser light, a star galaxy machine that was the primary light source. he said, “ I need to have the lights that you will be dancing under so that I can set the sound levels. I need to know how the music will sound in that light.”
again, everything was connected. the lights effected the sound and vice versa. where you choose to cast your gaze, where you put your intention, your attention. it all reveals itself in how we move through the world. I danced differently that night.
I am learning to dance differently. to see even more clearly when my eyes are closed, and i must move inward. choose where I will cast my gaze. to breathe through my skin. to taste with my eyes.
but always listen with my heart wide open.