michael j. morris

More Inspiration

Yesterday was the last day of my Labanotation Teacher Certification Course. As soon as I turn in my final project, I will be certified through the Dance Notation Bureau to teach Elementary Labanotation. My head is swimming with symbols and theory and integrated class/course designs. My final project is a course that I developing entitled “Choreographic Knowledge: Integrated Repertory, Composition and Movement Notation.” I am fairly excited about it, but also just exhausted.

Today starts my summer quarter, which will be mainly a mix of ballet and yoga in varying degrees. Ballet three days a week with Karen Eliot. Then a larger research investigation of yoga history, theory, philosophy, and practice that will involve a survey of literature (reading list below) that either describes the history/theory/philosophy of yoga or was/is an important philosophical/sacred text that was responsible for an evolution in the system. This study will then be integrated into my own yoga practice (five day a week asana practice, meditation, pranayama, etc.). This research is intended to deepen my own understanding of this system/practice, both for my own personal development and growth, but also as a preparation for teaching yoga in the fall. I am also finding some of the readings relevant to my larger research interests of the integration of life/art, the relationship of the bodily experience to identity, and the choreography of identity.

Here is the reading list, if you’re interested:

Shantananda, Swami. Splendor of Recognition: An Exploration of the ‘Pratyabhijna-hrdayam’, A Text on the Ancient Science of the Soul.

Feuerstein, Georg. The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy, and Practice.

Iyengar, BKS. Light on Yoga.

Iyengar, BKS. Light on Pranayama.

Muler-Ortega, Paul Eduardo. The Triadic Heart of Siva: Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir.

Singh, Jaideva. Spanda-Karikas: The Divine Creative Pulsation.

Kirk, Martin. Hatha Yoga Illustrated.

Friend, John. Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual.

Only a little daunting . . . I have until the end of August to read/synthesize that information into my practice.

I also wanted to share some scattered inspirations right now. I am contemplating my making, what comes next, what to create (too many ideas in too many directions), whether to continue work on “Red Monster” or leave it for a while. My creative activity might take on the form of notating my piece About. I am interested in that, and also how preservation is a creative activity. But other than those interests, here are things that are “sticking” with me, for various reasons. Mostly they are fun, but all have deeper points of interest as well:

Photographs by SARAH AINSLIE of Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’ Blue Wedding:






Columbus Pride 2009 (photos various from Flickr):










Ethan is an artist working out of Cincinnati. I think his projects are sort of amazing for lots of reasons, not the least of which being that they take dance into public, into uncontrolled spaces, inserting a trangressive body into society/culture/architecture/etc. The dancing body is one which moves outside the boundaries of the social strictures for bodies. It is safe and sanitized when it is removed or remote on a stage space, or on dance floors (which can function as in-between spaces, where rules are subverted, and bodies explore alternative roles/identities), but on sidewalks and parking lots and city streets, it is in violation. That is exciting to me.

Ethan did this amazing project exploring perception of the gendered body. The video is above. The post describing it can be viewed here. Ethan wrote in a January post on his blog, “The thrill of transgressing normal in public space is like a drug. It’s much clearer to me now how oppressive normal can be sometimes.” I feel that way when I am viewing the work. I hope you do too.

So, carrying with me Lady Gaga, Love Art Lab, Columbus Pride 2009, and Ethan Philbrick, I am off to ballet, yoga, reading reading reading, then likely going out tonight. Boys night at Wallstreet.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i’ll see you in ballet now and again this summer! yay!
also, thinking of doing a little MS, LA, TX tour of work…..wanna make a duet and come with? i’d be down with mixing our daily practice/identity/symbols/meaning missions…….

end of summer? a short/quick dash around the south. going to try to line up gigs at galleries/universities/colleges/studios…..want to get some footage of my parents jitterbugging while i’m there too…..

Comment by CoCo

What an overwhelmingly beautiful idea! We should talk more about this soon. I was planning a trip down south to visit friends and family after the second session (last week of August, first week of September), and I think it would be amazing to coordinate that with a tour. Visiting loved ones then rendezvousing in venues for performances sounds perfect. And I have time this summer for the making of something. Evenings and weekends are great rehearsal times for me.
So I think I’m saying let’s have a coffee chat very soon and maybe get some ideas rolling?
See you soon! Karen’s class yesterday was splendid. That woman just has an amazing eye for pin-pointing how one is using one’s body. I’ll probably be a little sore today, but it felt so good to really dance post-Laban certification.

Comment by morrismichaelj

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