European Movement Meeting, August 2018.
Lisbon, Ginasio de Portuguese. 7 floor facility for movement-purposes. We occupied 3 studios on the 5th and 1 on the 7th floor. 130 participants divided in four groups, and we were to have 3 classes with each of the 4 teachers – Odelia, Shai, Dudi, and Ido.
The schedule was :
Monday/Wednesday, 3 classes
8:00-10:30; 11:00-13:30, 16:30-19:00
And the rest of the days, only the morning classes + big discussion at 16:30.
With Shai we worked on soft body movements on and off the floor, coordination, dissociation of the movements, and mostly – improvisation. We were given a lot of very simple, endless tasks, worked with/without partners, but most of the work we did ourselves. Huge demands on the brain’s capacity to coordinate and reorganize the body in space, to switch between tasks, to pursue quality, to find it’s own creativity and expression. We worked a lot with music, and we had to improvise according to the partner’s choices of conditions. We finished all sessions with a very nice 10 minute shake that was extremely relieving for the lower back and the spine in general. I found it very hard to really separate the movements of two points in the body (for example – hips and elbow), as most of the time they tried to synchronize with each other in some pattern.
Odelia – we explored a stepping system (front/back steps; diagonal steps; t-step; sickle step, pivoting), some very soft acrobatics, entering/exiting the floor with different steps plus a cartwheel or a chapeu, plus the other module – getting a partner off balance through some very gentle judo-based games with pulling/pushing and hooking/sweeping with the legs. Incredible quality in her movements, it was very tasking for the feet, spine, and also of course – the brain. Odelia is an impeccable teacher, that has embodied the practice deeply within. It was the most joyful class for me, and she has opened a door to experience all this! Also, when you grip the partner – you receive certain amount of information for his posture/balance/movements/timing etc. Of course, there are two sides to this story – how much information do you receive, and how do you work with it. Both need to improve, for sure.
Ido – Delivering of power/energy through connecting the torso and linking/unlinking of the upper limbs; lots of arm swings, developing a whip-like quality, ability to multiply your mass and direct the generated force of it through space, all done through uni/bilateral movements of the hands combined with contra/ipsilateral patterns; head-feet connections, both through contra/ipsilateral patterns, rhythm , distance, angles, timing; rolling, connecting through different positions, improvising; Creating a better blueprint of the body was the main goal here. Demands were placed on the nervous system, core muscles, soft tissue of the upper limbs, of course the feet, the spine, etc. On the principal or technical level I understood the importance of possessing elasticity in the body and this relates to the soft tissue and nervous system more than the muscles. The body of Roger Federer does not explain Roger Federer. Incredibly important to install the proper software for your machinery. Otherwise, things just don’t click.
Dudi – stillness, breathing, manipulating the abdominal cavity & diaphragm, self-massage, observing the thoughts, enduring, releasing, opening the hip area as well. Incredible human being, walking around with grace and strength beyond ordinary measures. I’ve read things on the subject, but have not witnessed such a human. ‘’When you stop, you meet the mind’’. We were taught to treat thoughts just like guests – some pleasant, some not, but still guests, and trying to observe them in silence, and as Dudi said ‘’Do not feed the guests. They would stay longer’’. I had some noticeable energy releases from this practice and I took it right away. Haven’t skipped a morning practice since the first class with him! Extremely potent, demanding practice, that was very hard on the mind, and on the feet (because of the one-legged stance, held for up to 10 minutes per side), on the hips (a lot of squatting sequences). Incredible concept, simple yet profound. To surrender. It clicked something in me, but I do not know yet what exactly and will certainly explore.
They taught us principles, techniques, movements, games… But it’s much more than that. So much more.
It’s about proper partnering. It’s about the ability to switch your mindset. It’s about doing as much as you can and then surrendering to the unknown circumstances. Doing your own craft. Pursuing quality endlessly. Teaching with clarity. It’s about destroying your imagined self. About closing the gap between reality and perceptions. About improving yourself and others. About demands, honesty, modesty, humility, kindness, limitations, freedom, respect, connecting and disconnecting, creating, growing, evolving, laughing, crying, being aware, becoming more intelligent, resilient, capable – all this WITHIN A GROUP OF TREMENDOUS PEOPLE. It’s about A PRACTICE called LIFE – the only one that we really have.
For Ido, the team and all the fellow practicioners – much love.