Dancing with My Eyes Shut

Dancing with My Eyes Shut

Reflections on EncoreEast’s workshops with Russell Maliphant Dance Company

As we stood together facing the screen, focusing intently on Edd’s instruction, our arms float up using the breath from beneath them. I feel us move as one connected through space, time and Zoom.

This is session one and we begin our journey. It is an internal journey we travel through the tendons, the fascia and the arteries as we follow the breath. We connect ourselves from the inside out. Each week we learn to locate the stretch from our fingers to our scapulae, from our toes to our torso. We are learning to dance from the inside out.

There is no need for mirrors, no need to visualise an external shape and contort our body into it. We can see all we need to see looking inwards. Sensing the shapes as they develop internally. Movement which takes root deep in the pelvis, grows and develops as we are guided through spirals, turns, stretches and stillness.

I feel my belief in the process growing each week; through Russell’s intensity and Alethia’s compelling belief in the possibility of us.

But it is Edd’s class where I really begin to understand what is possible when you trust the connections created inside. Connections that run through us, into the floor, up through the ceiling and out into the world. Connections between us. I can’t see each of us in our tiny Zoom boxes, but with my eyes shut I can feel the intensity of dancing together.

Sometimes it is hard, often it hurts, my brain thinks it is too long, but I love it…

By Stella Eldon