I had the pleasure of seeing "Pina" this weekend, a 3-D film by Wim Wenders that beautifully presents work by German choreographer Pina Bausch. Though Bausch unexpectedly died from cancer in 2009, "Pina" avoids a talky tribute, and instead puts Bausch's theatrical dances front and center to speak for themselves. I especially loved watching the company's older dancers. It was a pleasure to see such gorgeous movers, expressing with a depth of maturity that comes with age and which is not often seen on the modern dance stage.
Woven within the film were dancer's memories of working with Bausch. One dancer recalled feeling lost during the rehearsals when new to the company. What Bausch's said in response to the dancer's dilemma struck me: search oneself without knowing what you are searching for. That's a brave act, no? It might sound a little koan-esque, but that unmooring takes a lot of courage. This inward journeying without a goal, of course, is not an act available only to artists and meditators. Though someone may come to me for Polarity Therapy to feel more relaxed, during the session the client might find herself discovering uncharted emotional and physical territory. In Gyrotonic, even though there may be a specificity to the choreography of exercises, the exercises themselves can be a container within which the client dives into a more open-ended self-exploration. It both awes and thrills me to witness my clients allowing themselves to contact previously unknown parts of themselves. It can be an infinite journey.
This was originally posted January 10th, 2011.