Sunday, 21 February 2010

Native American Ten Commandments

1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings
4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
6. Do what you know to be right
7. Look after the well-being of Mind and Body
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater Good
9. Be truthful and honest at all times
10. Take full responsibility for your actions

Saturday, 20 February 2010

myself in relationship with dance (1984 at present)

Dance has been my companion since I was a child. My journey in the dance world started when I was five studying ballet. Since then I haven’t spent a day without spinning around, lifting a leg or rolling on the ground. I have been trained as a ballet dancer, wore tutu’ and point shoes for many years and then decided to shift my research in movement toward contemporary dance and improvisation. My professional life keeps shifting from performing, making my own work, teaching and researching in academic contexts. I see life and art intermingling in a constant dialogue of negotiations, choices, questions and discoveries. The starting point of my inquiries is the living body felt from within and its relation to the space that surrounds it. Movement in all its manifestations fascinates me. I think of movement and dance as tools to understand more of who I am, to find orientation and learn more about the way I relate to others. At the moment the main focus in my dance practice is in finding joy, pleasure and ease in movement. I believe in the importance of playing seriously in all occasions that art and life present.

Lewes – beginning of February

I have been given the privilege to be with a friend in the 40th week of her pregnancy. I am here - in Lewes - with her and her family in the transition phase between pregnancy and a life coming into the world. It is fantastic to be in such a small village, waking up with the sound of birds after being in London, exposed to high level of noises and an incredible amount of stimulation. Little seems to happen here. Small and meaningful activities that fill in the day until the evening comes. (Having breakfast, providing food and cooking it, spending time sitting in front of the fire while talking and thinking out loud in company, visiting the farmer's market, planting raspberries plants, observing someone's painting and listening to the story behind it, meeting new people who immediately feel familiar, inflating the birthing pool, preparing the space in which Hester will give birth, rubbing a big round belly.) Hester’s family gathers around a table every night for supper, discussing about the day and asking each other questions of all sorts.
While reading the book “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin I came across this sentence: 'When a child is born, the entire Universe has to shift and make room'. Knowing that thousand of babies come into this world each minute I have started to think about space and how much of it I occupy.
I am sitting on the floor in my room, my legs long, my sitting-bones touching the ground, my upper back is supported by the side of the bed, the light is low and soft, a candle is on, the air is cool and I can hear the sound of the heater working.
Each person inhabits a certain amount of space, each daily activity requires a particular relation to space. Traveling takes the self on a journey of exposure to different climates, colors and to all sorts of interactions with people. The body constantly shifts in order to adjust to the new situation. In the last 2 years I have been traveling a lot – escaping at times or searching for stimuli and inputs in order to feel alive. I know I can understand myself more fully only when I step out of my routine and notice what my reactions are in relation to the situations I am exposed to.
Being in an open swimming pool outside Mumbai in water fully dressed drinking beer with a man clearly interested in me. Being in a dance space really open to sexuality in all its manifestations, being in Rome with a friend I have known for 16 years, then in Florence dancing in the main squares surrounded by statues made 600 years ago. And then finding myself in a Spa in Germany with my ears under water listening to Indian music, or being in a sauna at 90 degrees with 20 people naked sharing a funny ritual to get as much heat as possible from a man weaving a towel. And in London playing cards with two friends one of whom will leave the city and move back to Italy the following morning, being in the air between two cities realizing that a very expensive present was left behind lost for ever, being in my parents’ place in the country side in the centre of Italy under an amazing sky full of stars and a bit of snow left on the ground, walking and smoking with my sister to orient, arrive and feel the earth while walking, standing on a pavement with my ex partner freezing and wondering how to finally depart from each other, walking in the snow in Berlin with a group of new friends, having a soup in a Turkish restaurant talking about goodbyes. So many memories, each one connected to a place I have inhabited even for a very short time.
Do we leave traces? Can I live into this planet enjoying its beauty without consuming it? Can I consciously make space for newborn babies to be welcome into this world?
I wonder how awareness for what is present can enhance my ability to be in the world, fully attentive while contributing to a world of peace and respect towards others and myself.

Yesterday evening talking with Hester in front of the fire I was telling her about my difficulty to deal with lots of stimuli at the same time. Funny I just said I am purposefully doing it – is it because I enjoy challenge? Or is it because even our bones grow through experiencing and responding to resistance? It still is a matter of space! Something coming towards us can define our ability to deal with distances and make us understand how much space we actually need to live a healthy and joyous life. I am talking about the pleasure to exist. Inhabit our own dimension and being as tall as we actually are.