Following on from my dance with freedom and structure, I found myself working with circles and lines. Somehow these symbolised academic linearity versus the creative roundness of the arts.
The lines create a sense of purpose, clear vision from here to the future, strong poise of the intellect, efficiently getting from a to b. I do love the wide (neo-) classical ballet vocabulary of arabesques, defined arms, and pointed toes. The joy of covering space in long strides, walking backward, moving sideways. With tilts and diagonal expression I cut the space around me, mostly with a straight spine. A simple adjustment in focus allows for my whole outlook to shift, and I experience a sense of masterful confidence (even though, of course, my technique is unpolished). Yet I also taste rigidity, predictability and boredom; a superficiality to my being-in-those-movements; a not-quite-realistic and tiresome sense of always going onwards and upwards; a frantic ‘hanging in there’ because there is no obvious way ‘down’ but crashing.
The circular patterns on the other hand emerge organically, curving my body this way and that, effortlessly following impulses. Whirling, curving, spiralling, folding in over a changing centre, they have no beginning and no end. This more feels like a journey, a discovery of the unknown through listening rather than pursuing. Although the lines also move in three dimensions, the circles have a mysterious and orb-like multi-dimensionality to them. They exist outside of me, and without pressure I can dip in and out their flow. They tickle some deep curiosity of ‘what next’? However, if I overdo it, I become dizzy, disoriented and even nauseous, and it is difficult to find focus.
I realise how easy it is to get stuck in one or the other modality, and once stuck, how hard it is to find my way out. One without the other quickly becomes dysfunctional. The trick is to follow and honour dynamic emergence and fluidly move between the apparent polarities. They teach us about balance and interaction between going and arriving, intention and surrender, striving and yielding, active design and responsive listening, and it is this tension that invites effective and fruitful creation.
Photo: © Eline Kieft, 2012