Zanshin: Exploring Movement

Japanese and English writing in a notebook.
Ayaka’s bilingual notes.

There’s much going on, but yesterday I was able to put in some more time with Ayaka Takai on Zanshin, the choreography/MiMu Gloves exploration we’re working on at the moment. Big thanks Arts Council England.

It’s really exciting work. It continues to surprise me from all directions. One of the biggest things to get snagged around is just how little I understand my body and how to move it. Everything takes a degree of concentration, even standing and walking, so following choreographed steps? Wow. That’s some brain bandwidth.

I notice things about my body I’ve never noticed before. In one movement, I bring my hands together in a prayer position, and then raise my elbows. The tightness in my wrist and shoulder on my right side is a new experience. But yes, it does feel like I’m getting fractionally better at moving as a result.

Ayaka and I are still at the visual design stage; creating movements and an aesthetic. I knew I wanted this to be informed by Japanese dance, with that sense of delicate precision, and of course Ayaka is able to bring that. I also understand it. I’m not just trying it on for size; it looks how I feel, or at least how I imagine myself. The reality is different I know. Clunky, wobbly, jerky; but inside I’m graceful.

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