"Dance What You Draw -- Draw What You Dance"

Most people - even talented and skilled artists - think of drawing as representing an object on paper.  Recently, I asked myself what would happen if, instead of representing an object, one represented motion. I tried this out yesterday, in a workshop called "Dance What You Draw -- Draw What You Dance".  

Several years ago, for a camp that had a lot of programs that were discussion, lectures, and other sedentary activity, I introduced a workshop called "Sarong Dancing," free dancing, allowing one’s body to move as it wants to move, while waving, tossing,  and otherwise manipulating a sarong. 

I used sarong dancing for the dance element of yesterday's workshop.  We used oil based drawing sticks, sometimes called oil sticks or oil pastels.  The instruction was to make lines on paper that followed a point on a dancer's body.  Instead of drawing a hand, we would be drawing the motion the hand made.

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An Image Drawn by Paul D.

While I was dancing.

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Another Image by Paul D.

Again, I was the dancer.

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I drew this image.

Paul was dancing.

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Another image that I drew.

Paul’s stomping feet inspired the jagged lines.


I find that both the dancing and the drawing are ways to silence my usually chattering mind.  They become ways of meditation.  At the conclusion of the workshop, we lay side by side in pairs, one hand on our partner's body.  Our meditation focused on the point our hands touched or the point on our body where we were touched.

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This workshop will become the basis for the second part of my three-part workshop at Sun Clad (August 21-25) called "Naked Mysteries"  The first part will be in inquiry into nudity in video and live performance – using video projection and discussion. The third part will be a ritual of touch, giving touch to oneself, observing others giving touch, and, for those who choose, giving each other the kind of touch the receiver wants. Others will use the same drawing techniques to record the motion they see.  If two men decided to wrestle, this could produce very interesting drawings. Each part will be a unit by itself with no requirement to attend all three parts.

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