Noemí has been writing up a storm. This entry is extracted from an entry published in her blog which references Patanjali’s yoga sutras in relation to the branch dances . For the full text visit:
Photos of Noemí’s June 8 performance by Lindsay Browning.
i confess. if there is anything i have learned from branch performance practice is: FAMILIA/COMUNIDAD. i have learned the practice of community and consistency and process and patience and negotiation. FOR THIS I WILL BE ETERNALLY
THIS IS THE DEEPEST AND MOST INTEGRAL aspect of the practice: ultimate connection/communion.
requirements for this to happen:
disarming [the mind = with it ego, held beliefs that get in
the way of functional communication, operation and/or
the more you give the more you receive
trusting = LOVE
branch performance practice guides me into experiencing - my "self" as well as what surrounds me- in a more comprehensive way, rounder than what "i think i know." it is
a most humbling and grounding practice. branch performance practice reveals multidimensionality and the joys of being one with. it is a shared experience: with a branch or branches. out in nature this equals the practices of observing and balancing all the information from the environment and a myriad of sensations. it is like yoga, branching out, taking the focus "away from you" but engaging that one minded focus of full absorption to be with - the branch/nature.
the work, "takes off" from a grounded point of departure -the point of contact with the branch and the skin. the practice/the work/"IT" opens up by "zooming in" all the senses gradually inviting the mind to become attentive to a feast of concentrated yet expansive experiences.
in my understanding, my body + the "so-called" physical, perceived as the concrete or "real" surroundings and environment, get shifted "out of focus" in the practice from a one dimensional "face value" to multilayered and entwined possibility/ies. i call this an entry point into flying while standing on this "concrete plane." what i experience with this practice is absolute immersion in the moment and in what i’m doing. because i am with the branch it seems/feels easier to drop ego. this i think might be what we read or hear about "being one with." what happens is that everything as "i know it" stops from being experienced in a "so-called sensical way" and instead a fullness -more than "three dimensional"- reveals itself. yes, "i" get lost or like erased...
in my understanding, this practice entails:
the ability to SLOW DOWN
open lines of energy
perhaps as a consequence of the practice itself comes a LOVE + AWARENESS OF NATURE / the ENVIRONMENT.
these are a few "techniques" that i find myself repeating
usually at the beginning or opening of the practice
this translates in my experience to aligning or invoking all elements and forces
tuning into breath
slowing way way down
2-holding the space:
this relates to "listening" and/or harmonizing which are indeed other techniques.
basically holding the space is waiting for "IT" to guide me into movement, when not framing -- framing is holding the space for something else to be seen or reveal itself.
basically dropping the guard or ego = ability to respond, not will or react
"taking in" or being one with
also has to do w/"peeling the onion"
letting the guard down
being absolutely vulnerable and naked
not having the mind and ego dictate what to do but
moving from deeper layers of "knowing" and muscles....
+ doubles up as an offering
has to do w/ going up and down through the articulations (below)
6-going up and down though the articulations:
following the curves, spirals energy of the branches
for this to happen one must be available at all times to breathe into articulations
alertness at all times
allowing elements -other than the branch- to guide in + out of movement
this has to do w/ harmonizing + "zooming in"
this has to do with sound, at times
or the wind itself
or anything else that is around
is like yoga's "pratiahara" or withdrawal of the senses.
following the spiral dance of the branches
i have three working versions of these:
- w/points of contact: following the energy of the branch
branches have circular or spiral energy still present and circumventing in them
pick it up and let it move or guide
-w/the branch on the ground
at times the branch gets anchored in the ground
then i can move into subtle tension to follow or
the spiral of the branch
-w/branch in the air, aka, hanging off the branch into a spiral –
its like flying
my takes on hanging have expansive tendencies
w/ the branch as a prop it is easy to drop into this practice
and be supported. it might come as a consequence of
12-"flying in standing":
related to hanging off a branch off the floor in the air
or having 1 or 2 branches as wings
it also refers to the light sensation when you are
completely immersed in the work
taking in all that is
removing one self from the pic
getting absorbed by the bigger pic
also when in the openness of a backbend it is easy to fall
into this realm
or when from "zooming in" the focus opens to receive
like a tree
rooted yet responsive
capable of miniature movement
as to be able to receive
in the stillness or silence there is always constant movement
or some kind of sound
14-rooting to thrust up:
giving to receive
what goes down must come up
what goes up must go down
like breath come and go
or else there is no life!
often i come "out of balance" in to a "performance"/practice;
i come out of the practice extremely quiet and vulnerable,
feeling very kind and with an open heart or naked, rejuvented,
centered, in tune, calm and serene.
my natural preference or tendency is to start clearing out "noise" and "busy-ness"
a few hours before the practice. [lately i wake up and find myself wanting to relish in the experience of emptiness/full silence, desiring not to talk atall; but instead hold the space. i consider a sacred space that of transitioning from dream on to waking state. enough time to relish in the space and silence right after dreaming is a very comforting practice. not having to rush to do anything is also a very satisfying practice. also i find reconnecting on to the sacred practice of doing nothing as healing.
i love doing nothing. i have a time/space during my day that is devoted to doing absolutamente nada. just like i have a sacred time and space to dance - without having a creative or choreographic, compositional endeavor attached - but instead dancing for the sake of dancing: the extreme pleasure of it as it releases endorphins! i now engage in this dancing practice for at least for two hours. in that space i vent and balance a lot of stuff without mind and/or words. in this personal practice i also relish in moving fast or moving in an extremely physical manner up to the point of exhaustion. i love getting tired and sweaty! i think this is a balancing, self-regulating technique that complements branch dancing that has come as an organic stem off.]
while branch dancing and in my personal dancing practices i am in all of my body and i think and dance with all of it! while branch dancing i feel many architectural and archetypal figures resonating: moving through me. i am a vessel, a channel. i do not become attached to anything. while branch dancing "i" fade out: dissolve and become what envelops surrounds or shows up through me.
while branch dancing i become what I AM. not "me."
while branch dancing I AM WHAT I AM.
i wish i could expand this clarity on to living....
work in progress...
yet i do notice some changes overtime that stem organically from branch dancing: -as stated previously, it is NOW after more than a year of practice, that i access the entry point and the work itself consistently and immediately, thus giving or immersing -
dissolving or erasing myself- on to IT.
-i look forward to sunday's performances as i know they'll do the magic of healing or balancing whatever is out of tune... [while in puerto rico the last few visits, whenever i would take a walk out in nature and i would run into a branch, i would pick it up and a "dance" would emerge inevitably... i hope this becomes then a regular practice for balanced living...]
-at first my mood would get in the way of what was about to unfold in the practice
now it happens the other way around, my mood gets either transformed or released as a consequence of the practice.