Un-Domesticate Your Dance
I was at a concert last week in Portland, Maine. It was a great show, almost a 2-hour set from The John Butler Trio. Before the last song, the leader of the band, John, asked the crowd, "Are y'all ready to sing?!". And after a mixed response, he said, "I just saw 50% of you get excited and the other 50% shrink away and say to yourselves, 'oh no, i can't do that'. This is a chance to sing, and we need to take those opportunities." So he asked again, "So...are y'all ready to sing?!" And the response was a little bit more energized, but still cautious. So John said, "I need you to sing. And I need you to release yourselves when you do. Just let go and just sing. I want un-domesticated singing." And so that's what we did, me and the other 1800 people in the audience. We sang like celebratory, unchained, free, released wild, undomesticated humans. And it felt cleansing, it felt communal, it felt powerful, it felt sacred, and in a deep way, it felt normal.
We need to do the same thing in our movement and dance world. Let's learn steps, yes. Let's learn choreography, yes. Let's learn techniques and reparatory, yes. Yes and....
Let's also be more wild, more free, more released. In short, less domesticated. That doesn't mean that we have to go to the edge of our physicality all the time. But it does mean that we need to allow our expressiveness, our emotions, and our capacity to open. So we can share, communicate, and play.
In short, un-domesticate your dance.
Because in the end, it's just singing and it's just dance. But that's a lot.