Friday, December 7, 2012

The meditative quality of dance and music...and bubble wrap

The post above describes the frustration of waiting - and how to keep ourselves occupied, thus reducing said frustration - with something as simple as popping a bubble.

Tablet and phone applications work in this exact manner. What is so fascinating about slicing fruit that it can hold us for a 45 minute subway ride?

The answer: absolutely nothing. We just prefer having something to do than not.

Which brings me back to dance, music and meditation. Shouldn't we be able to manage a 5 minute wait  for a bus without wanting to scream? I find that I can happily sit on an hour long bus ride, daydreaming or thinking about the actions of my day or my plans for the future. And I am quite sure that my dance training is why I am able to do this (coupled along with a highly active Roald Dahl-esque imagination, except my flying peaches are filled with taans and alaps and have clouds that can be used as dance floors).

The power of focus for the practitioner is truly where the power of art lies. Both from the standpoint of the viewer: can the art take you to a place where you don't feel like you are waiting for the end of the performance? Where it centers your focus, draws you in, and holds you in a meditative state of mind? And from the standpoint of the artist: can you focus during your practice on the one step that needs to be repeated over and over for 30 minutes. Can you focus during the song itself so deeply that you are truly present in the moment?

I suppose you can argue that bubble wrap is a focus, a simple, repetitive motion that allows you to be both the artist and the viewer. However, I think we can agree that most of us feel like we've gotten a hell of a lot more out of the meditative quality of an intense show than from chucking angry birds at some poorly piled up wood.

No comments:

Post a Comment