L I N E S (inconclusive stream, aesthetic interest)
July 1, 2015
“Force, Form, Qabbalah”
September 3, 2015
The seed, the egg,
The yin, the yang,
It all started,
With the big bang
Since I can remember, my movement vocabulary held a predilection for form. Though frivolous momentum based movement attempts and misaligned inversions were definitely a stepping-stone in my dance studies (as I’m sure is for many of us at some point), I have always maintained an affinity for the shape element. This could be argued as a result of our increasingly ocular-centric interface culture (clear, easy on the eyes), or maybe deeply rooted in my unconscious fear of failure to reveal and communicate clear ideas effectively (is that what art is?) Regardless, I am not at a stage in my career where I can explore that successfully through the work, nor do I care to at this time. If it is however a defense mechanism (everything is a defense mechanism, but that’s for another rant), it would lie in my rigid real estate of design focused movement. This is arguably limiting, and “limits” is the expensive word for this thought vomit. More specifically, limits verses expansion, force verses form, male verses female. Now before the berating begins, I should immediately premise the following that “male” and “female”, for my current purposes, allude to male and female energy, cross-globally expressed in a multitude of mythologies, religions, philosophies, and arts. Female energy is receptive and form oriented, while male energy is expansive and related to force. From a cosmological lens (this really turns me on), the first dichotomy subsequent to the big bag was energy and matter, force and form.
It’s here that I’d like to introduce the Qabbalah. This esoteric study of the creation of the universe is rooted in Jewish mysticism, later to be adopted by occult groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. My appetite for occult study lies in its cross-global amalgamation of mythology, reiligion, philosophy, all of which have ancient origins. It is my belief that since our beginning, we have projected our human experience onto the stars, then mythology, philosophy, and so on. It’s an ongoing self-study of our species to personify cosmic phenomena. But returning to earth now, a main function I find in Qabbalah is the relationship of force and form on the Tree of Life. This diagram has three pillars. Besides the center pillar of balance exists the Pillar of Mercy to the right and Pillar of Severity to the left.
Pillar of Mercy – Male energy – Force – Energy
Pillar of Severity – Female energy – Form – Matter
I am interested in this duality as a framework to explore and define movement, especially in the oscillatory relationship between the two poles. I have drawn up a graph (a line matrix) with quadrants and rays that delineate a variety of qualities and physical motivations in my movement study. These include such things as initiation, stillness, tension, release and so forth, all of which can be described on the 2D plane. The graph is not yet complete, and I will need further conversation with my dancers before I can spam it on social media, but it is in process.