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:

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blue_wedding_005

blue_wedding_012_kiss

Columbus Pride 2009 (photos various from Flickr):

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hrcflag_pride_09

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miss_gay_ohio

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http://ethandancesinpublic.blogspot.com/

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.

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Inspiration and Connections

It’s been a “heady” week working in the Labanotation Teacher Certification Course. I feel tired, a little tired of trying to figure out “integrated living/art making,” rather than just doing something like that. My friend CoCo did a series of posts last year about inspiration. I do them sometimes. I need one today:

An ongoing inspiration is the Love Art Lab. It’s huge with me right now. It’s full of love and politics and color and chakra energy and integrated life/art. Annie and Beth just had another wedding, #5 the Blue Wedding, in Oxford, England. I can’t wait to see pictures/video. I did a whole post about the Love Art Lab a little bit ago, so I’ll just give you an image or two to share my inspiration:

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I’m also having a great conversation of memory and experience between the brilliant color and energy of Annie and Beth’s Love Art Lab, and the company I danced for when I lived in Baton Rouge, Of Moving Colors Productions. I think I’ll created a “visual conversation” between the two . . .

RED

 

OMC "Red"

OMC "Red"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Cuddle"

Love Art Lab "Cuddle"

ORANGE

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

Susie Chaney in OMC's "Paradise Orange"

Susie Chaney in OMC's "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

YELLOW

OMC "Yellow Orchid Blue"

OMC "Yellow Orchid Blue"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

GREEN

OMC "Green"

OMC "Green"

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Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

BLUE:

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

Love Art Lab "Zen for the Head"

Love Art Lab "Zen for the Head"

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

 

 Whew! That’s a lot of pictures! Such a glide through memories and inspirations . . . 

NOTE: It should go without saying, but all photos of OMC are the property of Of Moving Colors Productions, and all photos of Love Art Lab are the property of Love Art Lab. I offer both here to honor and share these inspirations in my life.

If you still need more inspiration, check out this site that documents Linda Montano’s 14 Years of Living Art. I am so inspired by this work!

And I finally finished reading the first installment of a series of articles concerned with art in public spaces written by my brother Matt Morris for Aeqai. It is excellent and definitely offers points of interest as an art, a mover, and a public figure. You can read it here.
And here is an exceptionally thought-provoking quote by Rickey:
“I think it’s very important to make art that you have to wait for. I’m very concerned that movement be slow enough so you have to wait and you have to wonder what happens next.” I think that relates to my aesthetics in all kinds of ways . . .

George Rickeys Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory II, Variation IV

George Rickey's Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory II, Variation IV

 

Other inspirations tonight:

gentle rain outside
incense
fresh raw produce
indian fabrics all over my house
my friend Mara and her thoughtfulness
 Antony and The Johnsons “The Crying Light” (dedicated to Kazuo Ohno)

Looking forward to Columbus PRIDE 2009 this week/this weekend. Hope to see you there.