At Daghdha we have recently initiated a series of conversations between the artists in residence. This week topic was the individual practice and how that practice translates to performance.
In the traditional kind of dance education, skills and abilities are mainly acquired by means of repetition: tasks and maneuvers are repeated again and again until proficiency is achieved. In this context a daily practice becomes the fundamental instrument to maintain and improve one’s strength, flexibility and stamina. Personally I come from a somatic education background, where the emphasis is on experiential learning, focussing on learning from within rather than from imitation of an outside model. Somatic refers to the ability to sense a process “within you” and education still intends to increase your ability to function.
In this context, the practice is a constant refinement of awareness, perception, observation, appreciation, all necessary to keep the practice itself going: I don’t practice in order to get better, I practice because the practice is what I do. Naturally practice and performance end up coinciding: the practice is the performance, the performance is the practice.