Why I Am Not a Dancer by Judith Rose

02/01/2021 6:12 AM | Anonymous

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. John Keats, from “Endymion”

Very often I am asked why I place my work under the rubric of movement rather than dance.  Let me respond to this by journeying back to a very early memory. I was barely seven. As the daughter of immigrants who arrived here blown by the fury of the time, I was raised with very little in the material stronghold. Toys and games were created from what was at hand, and culture seeped in only through the magic of the radio and the book. So it was especially magical when my father came home one day with two tickets to see the fabled dancer Maria Tallchief as the leading presence in The Firebird ballet.

I remember nothing about the intricate footwork or the imaginative choreographic design. Before me was the most famous dancer of the time, and somehow I was not watching her feet! I was riveted instead by something fuller, something deeper, something more magnetic than her technical prowess. Before me was a dancer whose eyes expressed as clearly as her toes; whose body and spirit were in a state of at-one-ment.

At some point during the performance, a mystical transfer occurred, and suddenly, I, too, sitting in the hard seat of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, experienced and lived the vital movement of the dance. Years later, I understood that it was this mysterious peak experience that served as the initial catalyst for a lifelong devotion to conscious movement work, using it as a tool for healing, evolution, and transformation.

My professional vision returns us to the organic patterns we used when we lived in intimate connection with the earth. This understanding lies at the root of the yoga and movement classes I design, choreograph, and teach. These kinesthetic motifs were innate to a life that once placed an ear close to the ground and lifted eyes upward to read the signs and signals of nature. They satisfy the body’s longing for movement that is pure, joyous, and essential. When we move with Beauty and Truth, we too are moved, and that is the gift that deepens the practice each and every time.

For more information about Judith’s teaching offerings, visit judithrosevm.com.

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