Is It Possible To OD On Dance?

Pulling Out Our Best Bollywood Moves...
Photo by Kanako Kunishita
I think I'm now in the midst of a week straight of performing or rehearsing every day (at least once, sometimes twice!).  This marathon week of dance started last Friday night at Bollyhood with a hybrid bhangra-Bollywood performance (yes, the green pants made a comeback, and that's Kanako, Esther, Judy, Asma, Laurel and me at left) and will end tomorrow night with a giddha-bhangra performance at Mallika's art opening at Cell Space in the Mission.  We're on at 8:30- swing by if you're in the neighborhood!

In the midst of all that dance, Scotty's class on Sunday morning was fabulous- all long stretching (when I'm rehearsing I tend to forget about things like stretching my hamstrings, which I definitely feel the next morning!  Or in this case, every morning...).  We also spent a lot of time twisting, which got me thinking.  When we're not sitting at our desks working all day, we tend to move in a very linear fashion- forwards or backwards, going here or going there.  My brain tends to work in the same way:  what did I just do, what do I have to do, what else is on the to-do list?  Twisting is a completely different experience.  Rooted in one spot, you're turning to one side to get a 180 degree view of your surroundings, then turning to fill in the other 180 degrees.  While twisting, I have a chance to actually notice my external and internal surroundings.  During the contraction and release of twists, all those lovely internal organs we never pay much attention to finally get a chance to be noticed.  What's really going on inside our bodies?  When we're moving in a linear fashion what's on the inside is usually overlooked.  But when we take the time to stop, twist, and look around... well, there's a whole bunch of new information about the moment we're actually inhabiting and the place we're located.

All this yoga and all this dance has me rather aware of my body.  Dance and yoga are a bit like two sides of a coin- all created through the body, but one extroverted in nature, the other introverted.  Dance is an external expression of my internal experience, mental and emotional.  And yoga, although done in a group, is method to access my internal space, both physical and mental.  When the two come together, well, then you've got balance!