A deep, deep commitment to performance. So deep that the performer BECOMES the character.
In order to really dive into the life of character, really authentically becoming the dance you perform, one needs to be able to decentralize from the self ego. It requires a practiced ability to live inside of our imagination... really live there, BE there, experience it. Unlike pretending to be a character where one is playing at the way a character might act or think, to channel a character we go inside to the place of vulnerability and we transform our ego in to that of another. Sometimes it helps to think of it as becoming a character in a movie, in order to get started into the world of channeling character. Following character as it overtakes you, one must remain focussed in a manner that allows thoughts to leave as effortlessly as they entered. Meanwhile, focussing on the thoughts of the character. Keeping a mind focus on the era, setting, environment, tastes, smells, costumes of your character... all made completely real in your imagination so that your humanness never interferes with the complete delivery of this character.
In so doing, we experience this character as if we ARE them. We, through our life experiences, understand and evoke the emotions and thoughts of this character. We know their name, their family, the things that are important to them. We live as them.
And only then will the character be strong enough to move the hearts of the viewer.
We must be brave enough to step outside of our own skin. We must walk into vulnerability with courage.
To do so, we must be pure of spirit. That is the work of the Serpent Ceremony.
GESTURE as tool for character channeling
Gestures are the heart and soul of dance. Through gesture, movement begins the journey of communication with the soul. Gestures can be performed with any body part, but the beginning of learning about gesture is through task. Gestures that demonstrate task are the door to understanding this. A hand that reaches out, fingers widen and scoop in the air, then cupping as if holding something... this is a task oriented gesture. A finger that moves through the air as if wiping dust off a shelf, then curving up into the air as the eyes light on the tip of the finger... this is a task oriented gesture. A fist that suddenly uncoils as it is thrust into the air... this is a task oriented gesture. These communicate literally with the viewer, even when the "story" of the dance is abstract. They are understood by the soul of the viewer.
When we as a dancer perform task oriented gesture, ALL of our FOCUS is on the movement. We are in the moment of BEING, surpassing our humanness we are present with no inquiries into the future or past... we are focused and engaged emotionally. Performing a task oriented gesture thrusts the performer into an authentic moment when engaging thoughts simultaneously. This takes practice!!! This too, is the work of the Serpent Ceremony.
Learning to keep the concentration on the character and follow the flow of gesture -through emotion- and back to literal gesture... following a path of authenticity without "performing" dance, rather BEING dance... mastering our thoughts...
This is where we begin to gain absolute understanding of performance ritual... vs performances that are for entertainment. This...
is the work of the Serpent Ceremony!