“Your feet are firmly planted on the ground, but the rest of you is floating, the bones are floating away from the protection of the skin, the flesh of your body releases its grip on the bones and floats, too. Connect to the pleasure of it.”
This is how my journey into Gaga began. As I write the words, I immediately remember the sensations and to say it is still emotionally powerful would be euphemistic. In a room with well over 30 strangers, I danced for the first time in 20 years. I danced the way I should have been dancing, that is to say, with abandon, without judgement, without competition. In this room that was situated atop one of three buildings that comprise the center, I had a clear view of the Mediterranean, and today, something with that calibre of beauty paled in comparison to what I was witnessing and what I was experiencing. In short, it was a physical catharsis – nothing else mattered.
“Connect to the pleasure of falling. Fall up, Fall sideways, Fall and continue falling when you can no longer fall. Can you let the fall change directions suddenly?”
I may be revealing a little too much, but honestly, the energy in the room was akin to the mystery and euphoria that exists in “those types” of nightclubs where lots of things glow in the dark and you have to be in a certain state of mind to truly enjoy it all. There we were, exploring, finding, and researching ourselves and finding where we get stuck, while discovering the keys to unlock holding patterns. The descriptions were crystal clear and produced so many feelings that is was virtually impossible to not be in the moment, and consequently, tremendously difficult to always remain in tune with what the body was doing. The mind operated only to send the initial signals. After that, it became quiet. My mind simply stopped attacking itself and me. It stopped and enjoyed the quiet. It had the wonderful opportunity to “just be.”
“Make your fingers as delicate as possible, not fragile, but delicate and allow them to have a conversation with your torso. How do they react to each other?”
We stood there, vibrating, punching, releasing, falling, sensing and listening to the air around us, we let go and just moved. We chose the volume of our movement, both spatial and physical, we made spontaneous choices and accepted each choice with graciousness. We thrashed on the ground and found dangerous vocabulary. The ways I/We moved, which I have never personally felt before, are what kept me/us hungry to find more. The door was open wide to a field of more exotic sensations.
To appease the nay-sayers… It is hard to asses, after only one class, where traditional technique fits in. There were some plies, one tendu in each direction, a few leg swings – all cleverly disguised as something else. Nothing was traditional about how we did those movements, nor did we even spend time talking about them. It was as if they were invited into the room, mocked, then asked to leave. There is no judgement in that last sentence. I only wish to say that the humble tendu was decorated with writhing hips, torsos and arms, nothing held, nothing prissy. It became that awkward uncle who makes an appearance at the holidays. Yet I didn’t feel I needed those things and I am sure most in the room were also happy to not visit them. I still believe in them however, but with the rest of the class, just didn’t feel as though we needed to embrace them today. Waving from the car as we raced by was just fine with me.
“Take two full minutes bringing yourselves out of the floor to standing. Nothing will be accidental, every action will be deliberate and you must prepare for the subsequent action, to prevent unforseen movements. Know where you are at all times.”
By the way, two minutes is a really long time….
“If you are tired, find the pleasure in what you are doing, it is still in there. Give it a voice that is louder than the fatigue.”
We concluded by physically researching our new discoveries, patting down a partner, (rather aggressively I might add) and letting go even more. The pleasure was impossible to ignore.
Gaga addresses the performer as I suspected it would, but it seems to also bring a ferocious commitment to one’s own physical power, one’s own capacity to fulfill even the smallest movement and allow it to be seen from space. Who knows, I may grow weary of the whole process, I can’t predict what kind of longevity there is inside this work. But for now, after those mere 75 minutes, I have to say that it falls right in line with my love of learning new languages, and most importantly my need to be a part of something. Today that something was me.
After class, I went to the Ha Carmel market to stock up on some produce – super cheap there – and I also think I accidentally stole some peppers and cucumbers. I put everything in one bag and gave it to the man to weight..but it seems the peppers and cucumbers were the property of the booth next to the carrot guy’s. When I was quoted a price that is equivalent to $1.25, I was giddy. But how could 3 carrots, 3 cucumbers, a red, and green pepper cost so little? I didn’t mean to steal…if that is indeed what happened. Or maybe, produce really is that cheap?
BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF THE P.S. Therefore:
I wanted to share with you that on the way to said vegetable stand(s), I saw a family of three. Both parents and their boy who looked to be about 4 years old. They were in the middle of the street – literally in the middle of the street (the road was blocked off to traffic because of the market.) But don’t forget this was the middle of the street…The parents were standing behind the boy, clapping, and the boy with pants all the way down, was peeing on a plastic bag. Perhaps he too had just come from a gaga class!