"The basis of my dance is quite simple. It is an attempt to be true to the environment at each instant, and thereby to let the environment to manifest itself in the body as presence, physicality, and movement.
I found that this requires at first two principal elements.
The first is to be able to sense the environment concretely. This requires certain reducing of noise coming from one's own self, opening of oneself to the outside intensely, and giving up of one's own want to express.
The second element is to be available to be moved by the environment. This calls for knowing one's own body mechanism, strength, limit, center...., to be able to distinguish the subtle gradients of one's presence between black and white in one's nuances of properties such as texture, weight, density, and light/darkness, and lastly to be able to give up following movements that come from one's own motivations and impulses.
I came to believe that, through this basic attempt, one comes closer to the expression of true-self. "
Approach to Dance, A SUMMARY
When something that manifests through dance is experienced in a moment
of profound exchange (with the audience), we feel we have touched upon
reality that has always existed, yet have never been revealed. To make
visible the invisible– whether successful one night and failure
another, this is one of the continuous work that dancers face every performance.
For this purpose, dance is a status of mind and body that is ready to
perceive time and space directly, a status that exists in and beyond the
consciousness. I use simplified words such as “time and space”
to mean the underlying entirety that contains all that exist and their
phenomena. I cannot see what is the origin of this world. However, through
dance, one can become transparent to it – as if the invisible forces
can reveal through our transparency. I call these invisible forces “the
desire of time and space.” By allowing my being to be a vessel for
this invisible desire, I believe that I can be in more direct and ‘vertical’
relationship with the origin.
We have, in our modern society, created many ‘horizontal’
relationships that do not have direct reference to the origin of reality,
and therefore our behaviour and what is revealed through ourselves is
superficial, less concrete, and more relative. By giving great value to
horizontal and relative relationships, our truth becomes less visible,
If we have a vertical relationship – if we position ourselves always
to face the original source of all manifestations -- then we are closer
to a direct relationship with all things. True nature can become more manifest
in our being.
I believe that dance must strive to exist in a vertical relationship with
reality. Dance is not a self-expression -- but an expression of all things.
As a dancer, I try to offer myself in the state of close listening to
the origin. Dance is an act of active listening.
APPROACH TO DANCE
• Dance as Stage Art
• Source and its Manifestations
• Vertical Relationship
• Importance of Audience
• To go outward in order to reach inward.
• Materiality vs. life-force. The human consciousness of materiality
• Direction of Desire. Paradox between desire and co-existing
• Some Definitions -- notions about existence vs. life / notions
about dance and movement
To speak about my approach to dance, it is necessary that I describe
my perception of reality. My dance draws entirely from my world-view
and my fundamental beliefs.
I state no truths. What I will say will be a very subjective -- yet
concrete and precise -- description of how reality appears like to me
through my dance. I believe that the more subjective we are –
and if we can be concrete in our subjectivity -- more universal we can
Like any belief, my belief is my own. Another will have a different
belief. It is not important that we all share the same belief. Clearly,
what I will speak about is not a discussion about the right or the wrong
perception, belief, or method.
However, it is important to realize that how one acts, how one dances,
or how one is, is based upon fundamental beliefs of each person. This
fundamental belief cannot be compromised, because it is a certain truth
for each person. It is also important that the belief comes from oneself,
not from another’s teaching.
Source and its Manifestations
Dance is what passes through me. What passes through me is a force invisible.
It is like a will or desire of all things of the universe. It is not
visible, it is not tangible, it has no name. It can only be sensed through
how it manifests itself through me.
Out of many experiences that influenced how I dance today, there were,
in particular, two experiences I remember well.
The first experience was when I felt, physically, the space flowing
through me like a river. This is the closest description to what it
felt like. It was on one evening, in my room, when I was very sad. Without
any warning, suddenly I began to feel as if the universe was running
through me. It seemed the most natural occurrence and, as I felt this,
I knew that the world is always like this – that only I had never
noticed it clearly. The experience was so singular, curious, and energizing,
that I was not sad any more but was in joy. I felt that I perceived
reality in clarity.
The second experience happened while on stage in one of my early performances.
Suddenly, I felt as if there was someone (something) behind me. It was
a very strange feeling, because I knew that there was nobody there.
IT was moving me, and I observed myself being moved without my own will/intention
to move. I noticed that the lights have become bright and clear, all
colors vivid, and I could almost see each particle in the air. I noticed
that some parts of the space were heavy, some parts light. Some parts
of space were dense, some sparse. Some parts cold, some hot. There were
currents in the space. I do not mean air currents. It was as if they
were currents of space itself. I noticed that the space itself chose
for me where I will be, how my body will be moved. The densities and
the currents of space became manifest in my body. I did not dance from
my own self. I was danced by something else. I felt again the keenness
of perceiving reality. Things were in clarity, and I knew this is how
it is to really dance. It is very simple, and one has to do nothing
from oneself. One simply needs to “listen” and be moved.
These experiences of moments of clarity did not happen often. However,
after these experiences, I began to dance in a way of Listening. Rather
than “to do,” or “to create”, I spent my time
to try to listen to reality. This listening happens with whole of our
body and soul. I listened to this invisible force. I trained in order
that the mind and body can allow easily to manifest this invisible force.
I begat to call this force ‘the source.’ This listening
and allowing the source to manifest in my body – this was for
me dance. It is not so simple, but it is actually very simple. Clearly
it was the one reason I continued to dance – because in this way
of dancing, dance became impossible to separate from my life. To enter
into the state of mind and body of intense listening, and to be ready
and be available for the source to manifest in us – this means
for me to have a concrete relationship with reality.
I believe that this Source is the origin of all things that exists.
We are all manifestations of it in various physical forms. (When I speak
of physical forms, for the moment I will speak of “all that exists”
--matter and energy that physically exist. )
Yet the Source is not a cause of all things, nor is it a maker/creator
When I face the signs of the source, it is like to face “absolute
reality”. It is like an invisible will, an invisible design. It
exists outside of me, but it exists everywhere. All that exists resides
within it. It is like Time and Space itself – the Desire of Time
To know the Desire of Time and Space is to know its manifestations in
us. Perhaps, "to know" is not the right word -- because at least for me, I do not know if it possible to ever "know" -- I could only come closer. To come closer, I sought towards self-study -- not to study the self itself (as I believe it does not have much) but to study it to know how "all other things" are manifesting through the self.
Then what do I mean “Dance is what passes through me”?
It is to face all clear signs of manifestations of the origin.
I use the metaphor that our relationship between us and the source is
a vertical relationship. We have, in our modern society, created horizontal
relationships, many of which do not have direct reference to the origin.
We begin to have a horizontal and relative reality, that is not rooted
in the origin and therefore less concrete. We acquire many relative
behaviours. As a result, our true origin is less visible, less clear.
It is as if we begin to be reflection of reflections – we become
more complex and indirect in our existence.
If we have a vertical relationship – if we are rooted in the one
original source of all manifestations -- then we have a direct relationship
with all things that exists. Our being is more clear, and our origin
is revealed in our being.
In vertical relationship, there is a sense that there is no difference
-- there is no boundary --between one and the other (individual and
the rest of the world). There is no sense of the “I” in
this being, but our conscious minds, which do live also in a horizontal
reality, can observe its own being in this vertical condition, and live
with and learn from it. This is one aspect of self-study.
For me, dance must strive to exist in a vertical relationship with reality.
Dance for me is not a self-expression. We ourselves are “expressions”
of one original source. As a dancer, I try to offer myself in the state
of close listening to the origin. Dance is to listen – when we
listen, something passes through us. Thus, I say that dance is that
which passes through me.
This “something,” is what I call the Desire of Time and
Space. Time and space is the place of absolute reality. The desire is
its invisible design, the original intension. We are the crystallization
of this invisible design.
I feel as if my truest soul desire is the desire of Time and Space,
the origin. In this sense, I have a belief that “soul” exists
outside of me, inside, and everywhere. It permeates all, and all things
reside in it.
Materiality vs. life-force. The human consciousness of materiality.
Our nature is complex. I feel Life complicates existence. Human mind
has a unique privilege to observe that condition. Human mind is a unique
phenomenon and a unique tragedy.
Material with no life-force has a simple and pure existence, but it
has no privilege to observe its own purity. It has no consciousness
to view its own truth.
I often envy the clarity and beauty of non-living beings.
They are not complicated by life, and their existence is absolutely
true to each nature. A stone is truly a stone, a leaf is a truly a leaf.
It tries to be nothing other than what it is, and it acts according
to its own properties. A human, when dead – while still keeping
the human form – is truly a material being.
Certain life-forms, for example plants, are closer to a material being
than certain other life-forms, like animals.
What I mean by the purity of properties of material, I mean that it
has no other will than its own materiality. For example, if you throw
a dead wood or dead animal into a rapid river, it will be moved by the
condition and its environment according to its form and materiality.
It is pure movement. When you throw a live animal into the river, it
will try to swim with it, or to swim against, to preserve its own life.
Humans are unique in that we can be conscious of our own material (made
of matter) existence apart from the life-force that is its volition.
Hence, humans have often sense of separation, or co-existence (duality)
of, material body vs. immaterial soul/spirit. Our mind can also control
our life-preserving instincts – in a river, a human can choose
to let our material be, and drown, while it observes its demise till
death. Our consciousness can realize the state of our own materiality,
which will exist even when we are dead (though it may decay and reform
to other forms than who we are). We are able to have a premonition of
death, when the body will become devoid of the life-force. Because of
our ability to have this premonition, we have also the possibility to
view and treat our own materiality like another entity apart from ‘us.’
By observing our own materiality, we have the key to perceive the world
from the purity of a material.
We have different definitions for words, depending on our perceptions
and the time we live in.
For the purpose of my writing, I clarify the words that often have different
• Notions about Existence and Life.
In the way that I use the word “existence,” it is anything
that “is.” Life is not a requirement for this “being.”
I stress this only as some people believe that when one dies, one does
not exist. Their use of the word “existence” is, I believe,
a particular and singular, way of existence: an existence where we have
a feeling of “continuum” within our individual entity throughout
a certain period of time that we can be conscious of our existence.
This is a limited way of perceiving sense of existence -- and it is
in a linear perception of time -- as we, the living, only have this
sense of continuity of existing because of certain operating mechanisms
that we have as humans. We can still live without these mechanisms,
as we see in different cultures and in individuals who are often marked
as having disorders of this mechanism.
How would one perceive the world in the lack of this mechanism? This
becomes closer to a “vertical” sense of time – the
state of no time (or only ‘now’) of any matter that has
no conscious mind. This is closer to how I use the word “existence”.
In dance, I utilize “existence” in the non-continuum. Each
moment has a sense of being infinite, When a performer lives in this
perception, audience too experience this perception. It is my cheif
mode of communication.
• Notions about dance and movement.
Not all dance exists as a vertical relationship. Not all dancers’
aim is this. Some dances exist as horizontal relationships – within
the social behaviour and within the social perception of time and space,
which is in a relative reality.
Not all dances are aimed for an audience -- there are collective dances
where there is no audience.
My approach is toward a vertical relationship. In my dance, I deal with
time and space in a way that differs from usual social perception of
time and space. I present my work for an audience.
There are several common notions about dance by a general public, that
do not relate to my dance.
One notion is that dance is a self-expression. -- It is not.
Another is that dance is about movement or shapes of the body and the
composition of the bodies in space. -- This is only as a result. It
is not the essence. All bodies, dancing or not, are in movement, and
they are situated within a space.
We cannot deny that today, the public is more concerned for categorization
(essentially futile) and what the events stand for in social context.
The trend is more toward superficial appreciation of dance to gain cultural
or social status, or to be diverted by something a little different,
but not understandable (not uncomfortable.) I venture so far as to say
that the public now enjoys more the superficial, and is content with
being presented with what is visible with the eyes and what is easily
comprehensive logically or impressive emotionally. In response to public
demand, more and more dance has moved to simply series of movements,
visual aesthetics, or intellectual concepts, put on the body from the
outside – completely “decorative or conceptual” –
and in truth, they are complete lies.
A situation that demands the audience to listen to themselves has become
rather undesirable for majority of public. The trend is more or less
severe in different countries, but exists throughout most of ‘civilized’
In spite of this, or because of this, I continue to believe that all
people, at the very bottom of themselves, desire to listen to themselves.
To be with reality, and to look to our own selves, we are very often
in the dark. It is my work in dance. If one person can be touched, then
there is a reason to dance again.