Dance Therapy Notes and Performance

A page from my notebook, feedback from the Field on Dance Therapy

Dance Therapy (this particular exercise) is highly dancer dependent. I really appreciated the feedback. That day I was feeling a bit under the weather, didn’t get enough sleep and so I just went through the motions on some of the prompts and it showed. It was a good thing to get these notes before the performance.

The performance went well. Afterwards a teacher came up to me and said she was inspired to do a version of Dance Therapy for her students in elementary school. One person said I totally “hammed it up.” There was a prompt where the good thing of the week was “sliding through the mud at Strawberry Canyon” and the corresponding movement was me on the floor, joyously pretending to breast stroke, and paddle and make mud angels.

I split my pants on stage. They were just my street pants and I was enthusiastically going down to a prayer pose for a movement based off of a good moment sharing a difficult time and getting support. I’m gonna get some nice dance pants soon. Still, I regret no photos of me dancing were taken during the sessions. I’m planning on doing this exercise and documenting the movements.

Some of the Field were asking about how I came up with the movements. In the process of getting the prompts, I occasionally ask questions to get a clear idea in my notes that I then scatter about the stage. A lot of it feels like charades, where you find something to communicate, something part of the scene unfolding visually in my head and just go for it and make changes, improv.

Some memorable moments from my point of view over the 6 times Dance Therapy has been performed

  • prompt: conversation with son about college tuition | movement: gesturing the movement of the tassel on the mortarboard hat becoming heavy and drug around like a ball and chain
  • prompt: being sick | movement: lying down on the stage for a long satisfying while without moving.
  • prompt: finding a parking spot at the women’s march | movement: miming being in a car and walking around the stage in perpendicular directions (like streets)




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