As Persephone finally returns to her mother’s open arms on the brink of blooming gardens, the Duncan’s celebrate with garlands, silks, breath-filled improvisations! There’s something so refreshing about the first warm yet slightly chilled air of spring that beckons a reawakening of the physical senses. I tend to revel in the spring breeze by filling my lungs with the fresh air since I know it’s only a matter of time before the pollen sets in and I may not be able to continue to breathe so luxuriously.
One of the studies that the 8-12 class will revisit this month is the Blessed Spirits dance; a dance that calls to mind the air-like quality of floating on a breeze before faint stillness. Just before the dancers press open the clouds to feel the sun on their faces and hearts, they glide across the floor and push the wind as they move to greet a partner with their gaze while looking back at where they came from. To me, this greeting and parting of the clouds represents how swiftly the breeze calls on us to connect with each other and the renewing earth, and to take a moment to breath in the warm air of spring with one another.
In recent classes of both age groups, we have been focusing on what we see and how we connect with each other when we dance. While the 4-7 year old students embody birds that soar through the sky in flocks, at each corner turn they invite new birds to join their dance with a breath and lifting of their wings and call on their sisters with their gaze. The 8-12 year old class practices a similar study but sometimes after their Tanagra studies, which are sequences of meditative movements intended for internal reflection. One of my favorite moments in these classes is when I ask the students where they went, or what they saw during these studies. Their responses contain an array of dragonflies, clouds, lavender fields, and surrounding forests; needless to say, I highly recommend this question after class!
Between the poetic dance studies of the Daisy Fairy and Morning Glory Vines, I’m looking forward to a spring full of breaths that part the clouds and imaginative dance journeys that bring giant dragonflies into our classes.
- Becky Lallande