Good morning, my community of Embodiment seekers, to all those who invite, strive, welcome and savor being more fully in their bodies and in Life! This is one of, I hope, several posts about my journey to the 40th Anniversary celebration and conference of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS). I hope to be writing more in the days, weeks and months that follow, about the people I met, the inspirations I’ve experienced and the ideas that I’ve touched or caught these past few days. To extend my felt-sense connection to this incredibly empowering experience and to share this valuable wealth of knowledge with you my plans are to write often about what I have observed, learned, felt and explored. My goal, dear reader, is to also share with you as these experiences become more deeply integrated and embodied into the rhythms of my more routine daily personal and professional life.
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of this educational institution, LIMS invited the Laban dance community to reflect on what role dance and performance art might play in shaping appreciation of cultural differences and creating equality between humans, other species and the natural world. They adopted the term Ecopoetic as the inspiration. This term combines “eco” from the Greek “oikos”, meaning family or house, and “poetic” from “poiesis”, meaning to make or to create. This term was intended as an expression of the legacy LIMS represents, the care for the movement field that we as Certified Movement Analysts (CMA) all share, and the desire to collaborate in nurturing escapes from standardized modes of behavior. Although this was the umbrella term used for the comprehensive collaborative multi-centered movement art performance in Washington Square during the conference, they also invited us to consider, conceptually, ecopoetic as a practice. Ecopoetic practice being one that relates to “an ecological way of thinking with a multifocused and open-ended perspective”, a practice that invites us to dialogue with our environment, its activities, and the other living beings in it in non-standardized ways without imposing ourselves over the surrounding spaces, or hindering their normal uses.
The material about the performance art piece ECOPOETIC (conceived and directed by CEO of LIMS Regina Miranda) explained that it was evoked by the concept of the early 20th century Movement Choirs created by choreographer/movement theorist Rudolf Laban (1879 – 1958) who believed that this collaborative structure promoted and satisfied core needs of human society: “sharing, relating and creating together.” Some of you may recognize the influence of Laban on my own endeavor, the Mandala Community Movement Project, which was "birthed" on Earth Day of this year in Columbia, MO's own Peace Park.
Being in Washington Square on Friday evening, observing my professional peers immersed in their individual and collaborative creations of their unique ideas of ecopoesis, was profound. I hope to be sharing pieces of video from these performances in the coming days so that you, too, can get some chance to witness this experience.
I also am having a resonant and very personal response to this concept of Eco-poesis, this idea of actively acknowledging the value of an activity in which a person brings something into being within their home space that did not exist before. This resonates so strongly because it describes the drive within me that has always and continues to compel my work with Embodiment, a passion to bring to my community a way of exploring and being with movement in ways that I have not experienced in my time in the space that I call home. I speak to this a bit in my previous blog post "What Do You Do and What Can I Expect?"
The two ideas that really stepped off the page and jumped into my body when I read the material from LIMS about Ecopoetics are these: the action of caring for the movement field and the action of desiring to “collaborate in nurturing escapes from standardized modes of behavior”. These both speak so clearly to my heart’s desire that fuels my offerings. Eco-poesis. Creating within my body, my home, my community, my family something which did not exist before - and support the act of living life more fully.
I look forward to sharing more as it unfolds!