Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Psychoanalysis of a plie - Part 3

The knees slide over the ankles. The toes.

The arches of the feet relax and widen. The joints of the metatarsals open and widen. The feet expand. The ankles soften. The pelvis drops and the tailbone releases into the space between the two pelvic halves. The tailbone pulls the spine to lengthen. The rib cage...

The rib cage?

The rib cage is centered by the heart chakra. And attached to the legs via the iliopsoas.

I hypothisize that there is a relationship between the sacral chakra and the heart chakra. And if one would/ could figure out how to bring these into energetic and physical alignment, the plie would be more effective and efficient. I often see (and find myself) the heart center projected forward, as if the balance comes from the heart center, or from the lungs, or the rib cage. In reality, this increases the curve of the lumbar spine and the "bootie" projects backward. The body counterbalances itself to maintain a sense of stability; irregardless of the counter-intuitiveness of this movement. By releasing the "bootie" and the sacral chakra into the back space, the dancer's hip flexors are shortened and the quads engage to help stabilize the torso. This then restricts the mobility of the lower body and, over time, creates habits and frustrations in the dancer that could be injury-producing.

Transferring my hypothesis to the lab (the studio) requires mental, physical, and emotional work.

What does the space of the heart chakra hold that makes it project forward when vertical at the barre? What might allow it to release?

What does the sacral chakra hold that makes it project into space? What might allow it to release?

 (from medicalartlibrary.com)

(from shaktiholistic.com)

Is there a way to bring these two energies into alignment? I believe that by "dropping" the sacral chakra and allowing the lumbar spine to lengthen, the plie will experience greater depths, but the dancer will also experience greater mobility of the body through accessing the spine.

The plie is a grounding element.

I suggest finding a way to align the chakras through energetic practice and the body will align through the physical practice. Body, mind, emotions, spirit, other energies are all connected and are reflected in the beginning practices of the barre. What does your plie say about you? How can you choose to address those imbalances? How can your plie impact your daily life? Are you responsive? Rigid? Fluid? Effortless? Finding the muscular structures? Where is your mental and emotional body when your physical body is engaging in the plie? What are the challenges of your plie? How do they reflect your fay-to-day challenges? What can you do to make both more effective? Sometimes, all you have to do is increase the strength of your rotators or the flexibility of your hip flexors. Sometimes all you have to do is bring breath into your heart space.  Sometimes, it's that "simple." I join you in the challenge.

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