March 22, 2016

Union Sitting

This past fall I began facilitating a Vipassana Meditation group on Friday mornings.  The sessions include 30-40 minutes of sitting meditation practice as well as a shorter walking meditation period and one of the following: gentle movement/yoga or a body scan.  These sessions are open to all levels of experience although a a little bit of meditation experience is helpful.  The sessions are lightly guided. We rotate bringing in a reading.

Sessions provide an opportunity to practice training the mind to come back to the present moment. Email at info@jen-harmon.com if you are interested in joining in at any time.

April 1, 8, 22 and 29. Where:  The loft, 725 Union St. #3  When 10-11:30am.  By donation.

 
May 30, 2014

improvisation

 

Barbara Dilley is a wonderful dance artist and teacher.  Here is writing by her below:

The question for the improviser then becomes: What is your delight? It has to do with not doing things because you think you should––50 ab curls or looking a certain way for your teacher––but using delight as your touchstone. It’s a turn- ing of the focus inward and allowing that to be the source of movement, without pointing to what you should or shouldn’t find. For me, that investigation has been the richest. I had to give up my habitual patterns of moving and come back to kinesthetic delight.

She also practices the below.

“This is the most important teaching: 

not two, and not one.  

Our body and mind 

are not two and not one.”

from Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

May 29, 2014

Writing in Rehearsal

I asked the dancers I was working with to keep a journal and to write on the rehearsal process we were undertaking together.  Sometimes  the writing was open ended, whatever arose.   At other times I asked a particular question.  The writing below is from Kristin Swiat.

 

This place already feels like a sanctuary. Processes are always rushed, but here, we don’t rush the slowness and we don’t skip the details of who someone is inside of their dancer body. Think and talk and share and then get out of the head, let the energy pass downwards, into the heart and lungs.  It is so hard to let the thoughts go, but let them go we must.  A quake has a warning, a tremor.  When I go from stillness to movement, I can feel already in my minds eye where I want to go- but do something other than that.  The new sensation of my psoas muscle, any resistance to exploration that I have felt in other times (in other projects) is totally gone.  But I can see my habits: forced arch foot, pivot around it.

Group synthesis, enough time passes that we begin to have collective memories, some which we will one day have to remind each other of. Using less effort for simple restorative movements like circling of head on cervical spine, then thoracic, then lumbar.  finding limitations in the body, small injuries, working through them, though they are scary.

You can get everything you need in the body right here, right now.  Deep visceral belly dance to warmup, move organs.  Move bones, but let the dance that is already there come out, don’t try to make it.

May 10, 2014

August 22, 2012

One Thousand Paper Cranes

I recently found this early video of my choreographic work with young people. The dancers and I worked with structured improvisation, abstracting narrative ideas, and set choreography for this piece.  I utilized a story most of the children and parents knew from reading it in school that year.

Affiliated with the Creative Arts Studio in Brooklyn, these young dancers performed an evening of work by a handful of professional choreographers at the Triangle Theatre, Long Island University.

 

 

July 17, 2012

Article on Dynamic Anatomy

Check out the article I wrote about my work with mentor and master teacher Nancy Topf in the current issue of  Contact Quarterly.   Learn more about Dynamic Anatomy/Topf Technique, the history of Release Technique and the context in which this movement work developed.

CQ Chapbook 3, vol. 37 no. 2 summer/fall 2012

 

February 28, 2012

almost spring…

 

Contact Quarterly will publish an Issue in May/June devoted to master teacher and choreographer Nancy Topf.  The issue will include lessons/practices from her manuscript in progress as well as articles written on the context and development of her work within the lineage of  ideokinesis and anatomical release technique.  I have written a piece on my personal experience as a young artist working with Nancy Topf.   It will be a great source of information and inspiration for embodied practitioners, teachers and students.

Also…. I am starting a new dance project that will go up in the late spring/early summer with some lovely dancers.  More on that soon…

February 8, 2012

Remembering the Voice

Today we worked with voice in studio.

I am less interested in seeing what a performer is “doing” or what they can do –and more interested in how they are “being” and how is the quality of their attention.  We can follow the voice, let the sounds be what they are and not judge the tenor, pitch, or any other part.  The voice can be beautiful, ugly, kraggley, soft, animal like, sweet, silky, stuttering, a whisp.  The focus is on locating an easy inner initiation and then following that into the unknown.  The breath. This traveling leads through feelings and worlds.   Other cultures arise and dissolve, so does our own ancestry, darkness and the light.

 

December 13, 2011

“Instant Light” Tarkovsky Portraits

I picked up this small book while browsing Spoonbill Bookstore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is a collection of some sixty Polaroids with intermittent text.

“The Artist,” Andrei Tarkovsky says, “must be capable of going beyond the limitations of coherent logic, and conveying the deep complexity of truth of the impalpable connections and hidden phenomena of life.”