Moving in Context (In the Mangroves)

Movement in Context is a series of labs, classes and performances that raise awareness and sensitivity to our interaction with the environment. When I say "environment" I don't just mean what we have categorized as nature or wilderness, but all of the spaces and places that we humans interact with on varying degrees. I am beginning this exploration in the Mangroves to acquaint ourselves with an essential aspect to our South Florida Living. It is the beginning of a story that we are telling through physical exploration. The Mangroves are very specific to our Peninsula living. They act as guardians of our costal land. Their long leg like roots intertwine and grow in all directions creating an organic jungle gym. The features of this forest are perfect to transfer the dance movement style of Contact Improvisation from body to body- to body to tree. In these tight spaces and greater stretches between branches and roots, a mover can utilize the concept of weight sharing to move between or transfer the body slowly from one branch to a distant other. After a while of moving and becoming warmed up the serendipitous flow that occurs with another body in Contact Improvisation begin to occur with the Mangroves. There is a communication that is vibrant and alive between human and plant in this instance.

The forest in particular that we have been moving in is Kennedy Park- Coconut Grove, FL. This forest has some tree's in it that are 100 yrs. old or more. It is a gem of an example and it is easily accessible.  While in the forest and facing out towards Biscayne Bay it is so dense and thick one could imagine that they are existing in a Florida that is pre-settlement. But then you hear children playing, dog's braking, cars passing, music playing, the occasional death rattle of a car hooked up with sub-woofers, construction, etc. But this does not distract from the point. As a matter of fact it is the point. There is this incredible piece of "nature" right next to all of the "non-nature" speaks to the truth of the matter, which is that we are not separate from our environment and the divisions we create in our mind make the interaction with the "dirtier one" more difficult.

Through holding space in this forest, I attempt to bring light to this division, which touches on other perceived dichotomies such as mind/body, mind/spirit, spirit/body and body/nature. I argue that there is no separation.

Moving in Context means to move with a purpose, moving with another body creates movement that is necessitated by the other body in space. It is the same with the trees.You have to lift your legs and stretch your arms and twist and bend and press your body in ways that are so complex and beautiful. Combining this dance with the tree's with the other people in the tree's is the goal of this project.

The continuation of this project will move out of the forest and into other areas in our "environment". This will be the continuation of the physical narrative we are creating in our place of Miami.