This practice can be done anywhere and for any amount of time. It is an all abilities practice, adaptable for a solo, duet or group. This dance practice can happen in a dance studio or in your kitchen, in one-minute increments, fifty minute increments, or in an unfolding continuum throughout your day. This practice is also patterned after the infinity concept—layered within each phase is the whole.
For example: You have fifty minutes to devote to the 4 phases practice. For each phase you spend seven minutes in the physical practice, and then three minutes in documentation (this ratio between phases and documentation is adaptable). When practicing with another person or a group, this will allow time for both parties to witness one another in phase four. When practicing phase four alone, as you continue to dance, imagine watching yourself and direct your awareness to witnessing your dance.
Timed Documentation: Write, draw or scribe responses to questions in phase 1.
Timed Documentation: Write, draw or scribe responses to questions in phase 2.
Timed Documentation: Write, draw or scribe responses to questions in phase 3.
Timed Documentation: Write, draw or scribe responses to questions in phase 4.
This phase alerts us to what we need and what is important in order to prepare or “align” our body to the environment, task, or situation at hand. This phase also alerts us to consider what is needed and important in order to function within the environment, situation or task. This phase represents the individual within the community, individualization, and discernment of whether the environment is safe and supportive. Movement Fundamentals I: Practices of Alignment & Function—Practicing Embodiment
This phase alerts us to what it is we are doing and what it is we like to do. For example, what are the habitual ways I move? What are the customary ways I think? What do I always do with my body or where does my thinking always seem to go? When we stop to consider what we think, how we feel and what we do, we may realize the thought, word and action are not in alignment, due to these habitual or highly practiced ways of adapting to our society and/or culture. This awareness of our range and how efficient we are within that range, alerts us to the choices we have and helps us become accountable to the choices we make. We become aware that our choices continually form us and that we are in control of our own formation. This phase represents becoming aware of what we contribute to our community; what distinguishes us and what is unique about us that can be offered to our community? Movement Fundamentals II: Practices of Range & Efficiency—Refining Movement
This phase alerts us to what it is we have to say or express about our experience and the world around us. This phase also brings us into a wonderment of reflection of ourselves within the world. Images, metaphors, and sensations allow sophistication and artistry to enhance or further develop what it is we have to say about our experiences and the world. We begin to understand our own forming and how our intentions (what we think about) shape our vocabulary (what we say and how we take action). This phase reflects the intention (thought) behind the movement choices (vocabulary). The dance artist considers, then, if that intention is needed, necessary, supportive or constructive to the community or the environment. This phase represents the artist within the community. Movement Fundamentals III: Practices of Vocabulary & Intention—Designing Expression
This phase alerts the viewer and the performer, simultaneously, to the idea of dance making and performing. This practice develops sophistication of intent in what the dance artist wants to communicate through the body. The collaborative relationship between dance artist and dance audience is emphasized and revitalized. This phase represents the responsibility of the dance artist to engage, educate, and evolve with community. Dance for Art & Life—Engaging Practice
Movement Fundamentals — 4 Phases Practice, copyright Jane Hawley, 2010.