Maude's Musings: The Art of the Dance

Maya and I were lucky to catch our dear friend, Katherine Ferrier, performing at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. Her troupe, The Architects - a group of 4 women in their 40s - have been performing improvisational dance together for over 20 years, since their days as students at Middlebury College. I cannot tell you how incredible it was to watch them dance together. To trust each other, to watch them lean in and understand implicitly that the others would be there in exactly the right way at exactly the right time and even if the movement didn't go as planned they would shift and change in all the ways they needed to in order to keep moving, keep dancing.

During the Q & A afterward they spoke about the depth of this level of trust and also about the way they have been able to navigate through their "outside" lives because of what they have built through this work, through learning this collaborative style of dance. They spoke about how their emphasis on trust and play and compassion and LISTENING to the other women during rehearsals and performances was also the key to being a human in the wider world. The absolute necessity of "the pause" as they called it - waiting and watching to see what the others would do at any given moment before leaping in. This pause - although somewhat counterintuitive in our "normal" lives, where it can seem as if we are responding and reacting all the time - was the way in. The way through. The path to a beautiful collaboration. And what was so striking to us was that, despite dancing so brilliantly as a group, they also maintained their individual points of view. Their strengths and identity and personality as individuals were so clear. 

We're going to take these cues next week in our next session of BraveGirlsArt camp. Maybe there will even be a little dancing involved...