solstice dance, dissipation

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Winter Solstice

Monday December 21, 2009


1:00-3:00 p.m. A cool, grey afternoon. Long walk in High Park. The landscape rich in browns and rusts and blackening rot. Squirrels busy. Paths quiet. Ice crystallizing across the pond. Later, at home, a waking dream. Body becomes liquid and runs through the soil of a forest floor. Flowing downwards. Dripping down into a deep, black subterranean pool. With each falling drop my awareness flies out across the surface. Body becomes water becoming waterfall. Expansion. Dissipation. Flow. A kind of release. This is the dance that I draw. Alice is curled up around me while I dream.

Today marks the end of adanceaday. 365 dances in 365 days. This practice has been such a joy. So challenging. So rewarding. And, so much of the learning is still to come.

dance #365, prelude to the solstice IV, uplift

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sunday December 20, 2009


11:00-11:30 p.m. Beginning my goodbyes. adanceaday is coming to a close. I do a long, slow warm up in the study. Followed by a dance with the cool, bright night on the patio. Then I dance with Alice-the-cat. Some writing. Some contemplation. What has this practice taught me? What learning is still to come? Then another dance in the study. Finally, I kneel down on the floor of the study to draw. A joy is rising. Uplift. Warmth and fullness and anticipation. This is the dance that flies across the page. The day was cool. The sun shone bright. Alice wanders off.

dance #364, prelude to the solstice III: renderings

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Saturday December 19, 2009


11:00 p.m. A 5 minute dance in the study. Writing again all day today. Trying to articulate the rendering practices alive in the lively arts of protein modeling. The manuscript is crystallizing, not just precipitating out of solution. The dance pulls at space and bends time. The dance renders and so transforms space and time. Alice lounges in good company. The day looked cold from in here.

dance #363, prelude to the solstice II: rotational unfurling

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Friday December 18, 2009

Rotational unfurling

11:20 p.m. A 5 minute dance in the study. Plant energy unfurls. Tropic. Rotating. The dance feels like plant growth. I can feel plant knowledge rising up from my tissues. New ideas for research projects take root and shoot through me. These are not so much imaginary flowers but real world plant bodies and economies. The night is overcast and bright. Not too cold. Alice just came in from her prowl on the patio.

dance #362, prelude to the solstice I: unfurling

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Thursday December 17, 2009


10:30 p.m. The solstice is coming. I’ve been sitting on the  floor of the study reading material for the Rendering Life Itself course I teach starting in January. The dance is a brief and potent resonance with a new batch of flower tea. The potency of botanicals. Plant matters and materialities. I feel a new project in-gathering and just starting to unfurl. Pulsing below the surface. Alice lounges. The day began at -11 degrees Celsius and I joined the morning for a run. The drawing reminds me of the imaginary flower series I danced earlier this fall.

dance #361, intra-articulation

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wednesday December 16, 2009


Around midnight. I dance in the study after writing all day. The dance is full and fast and articulate. The drawing comes out like an energy diagram. Hand set loose on paper to transduce the energy of the movements. I study the drawing after. I can put the memory of the dance back into the drawing. Rearticulating the lines through the feeling of the dance. Thinking with Barad (2007) and Prentice (2005) this feels like a kind of intra-articulation. The phenomenon generated in this intra-action between dance and drawing is the intra-animate energetic memory I am left with once both dance and drawing are done. The memory of the dance articulates what I see in the drawing as the drawing rearticulates what I remember of the dance.

dance #360, transducing flowers of evil

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday December 15, 2009

Transducing flowers of evil

12:12 a.m. D reads Baudelaire’s “Le Chat,” from Flowers of Evil for Alice. Reading the poem first in French then each of the successive translations. Each translation feels much more like a transduction of sentiment, rhythm, affect, and sensation. The drawing feels through the sounds.  Agate and metal and electric nerves. I keep drawing through a whole poem. A strange kinetic diagram. Late night, warm day with snowflakes. Alice cries and purrs.

dance #359, editing

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Monday December 14, 2009


It’s quite late. Writing all day. Tiny text. Trying to edit, reorganize. Frustrations. Seizing body. Slowing down. The dance is the anxious energy that comes with cutting and pasting and erasing and rewriting. Alice is agitated. She’s sitting with me now. The day was grey with light rain lapping up against the windows.

dance #358, gestic diagram

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sunday December 13, 2009

Gestic diagram

10:00 p.m. The dance is a gestic diagram tracing a path of movement. I am trying to communicate how my manuscript is coming along. Hand held out in front of me. Fingers filagreed, palm rotating, pulling downwards into a fist. The gesture comes with sound effects. Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrummmmmmmmmp! Things seems to be congealing. There’s a force and pull downwards as all the parts start to articulate their relations to all the other parts. It’s like a gradient reduction D tells me as  I play through the gesture again and again and tell him excitedly about my progress. The day was cool and rainy. Alice is with me when I remember to draw the dance the next morning. Apparently repeating a gestic diagram over and over makes it feel as if the drawing is already done.

dance #357, solar opening II

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Saturday December 12, 2009

Solar opening II

Midnight. Four drops of a concoction of flower essences and a sip of flower tea. Plum line through body. Arc-ing. Twirling. Unfurling. From spine and back body. Front body opens. Each breath a new opening. Something shifts, falls, cracks. Re-aligned. Widening. Breath fuller.  Alice has wandered off. The day had sun and some warmth.

dance #356, breakthrough

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Friday December 11, 2009


10:30 – 11:30 p.m. Excitations. Reading/writing/revising this molten manuscript. And then a breakthrough. The book holds itself together. Holographically. I see the whole in each part. It blossoms. The energetic uplift of this inspiration is the dance. Yay! Alice is impatient for me to get to bed. The cold seeps through the house. I shiver at my desk all day.

dance #355, spine shivers

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Thursday December 10, 2009

Spine shivers

Even now, at 11:20 p.m., I can still feel the cold. Shivers up my spine. Walked over 40 minutes in the cold today. The cold stings. Whips. Thrashes. World frozen. Body seized against the cold. Legs searing. Pace rapid. Breathing hard. Head down. Leaning into the cold. Home now. Warm bodied Alice leans in for a cuddle.

dance #354, winds rush

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wednesday December 9, 2009

Winds rush.

5 p.m. Winds rush and rip through the city. Slashing. Searing cold whips at bodies. But there’s still a warmth where there is stillness. I lean into the wind to propel myself forward. Later, at home I sit and listen to the wind rattling window panes. Whipping the trees. Rushing round corners. It is still and warm inside. Alice and I play with string. Winter has arrived.

dance #353, revising, rewriting, rewinding

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday December 8, 2009

Revising, rewriting, rewinding

10:30 p.m. until much, much later. Sitting on the floor of my bedroom after playing with Alice. I pick up the still-molten manuscript for my book. Jottings and underlinings and markings. Spliting and lifting text. Arrows. Lines. Back shift. Shifting text. Up. Shift down. Revising. Rewriting. Rewinding. The dance is this action of setting text into motion through the movements of pen and the flow of ideas. Alice ran off earlier.

dance #352, ocarina

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Monday December 7, 2009


10:00 p.m. Playing the Ocarina. A new app on my iPhone. Haunting melodies emanate from distant points on an earth rotating across a barren night sky. Tunes are thumbed by other players whistling into their iPhones. The program picks up little songlets from across the planet and pulls the listener in. The visualizations make it look and feel as if I am participating in a ritual of lonely souls beaming secrets out to the universe. Calling out, hoping someone will hear. Dreams of global connection? Satellite intimacies? New technosocialities through a participatory sonic medium? Alice is with me while I draw.  It snowed today!

dance #351, dances with alice

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sunday December 6, 2009

Dances with Alice

10:30 p.m. Alice-the-cat gets a good cuddle. Hand-over-hand, running through her thick coat. Feeling the rumbling of her purring. We walk up the stairs together. Pausing at moments for more. Swift leap. Then she’s on the bed. Hands run through fur. Deep body rumbles. Then in a moment teeth bare and bite. The dance is done. It was a sunny cold day. Big winds rush down Bloor. Hats nearly blown off heads.

dance #350, the pleasures of reading

•December 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Saturday December 5, 2009

The pleasures of reading

Well after midnight. Tucked into the big armchair in the study. Les mots et les choses. Taking so much pleasure in reading and connecting. Little lights go on in my head. Little flashes of excitation. Eyes dart across page. Imagination blooming. Alice is home finally. It is good to have her near. The deep cold has finally arrived.


•December 5, 2009 • 1 Comment

counting down to the solstice, i realized there must be an error in the number of dances left. i looked closely and found that i had repeated dance #35 on two consecutive days. i got back on the right count accidentally when i skipped dance #179. more recently, i skipped dance #344. i fixed that error, and am now on the proper count. the solstice is december 21. on that day i will have danced 366 dances. wow!

dance #349, to be straight with you

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Friday December 4, 2009

To be straight with you

9:15 p.m. DV8 performs at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Homophobia unleashed on stage. A dancing ethnographic record thick with the voices of people struggling to find ways to speak their hate, their pain, their hurt and loss. Sex and race and class and sexuality and religion tangled so tight there’s no breaking free. Such a powerful performance. The final scene a dancer speaks as a Muslim man torn between his homosexuality and his God. He raises his hands up, palms, fists, shaking. “It is between me and my God” he says, his head shaking with such intensity that there is a blur. He becomes Janus-faced, looking both directions simultaneously. His hands shaking with such intensity they paint the space around him in a blur of flesh against the blackening stage. Lights fall until all that is left is the blurred image of head and hands shaking. Caught in between. The day was cool, crisp. Cold settling in. There was no snow in Toronto this November. The first time in 162 years.

dance #348, finding the dance

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Thursday December 3, 2009

Finding the dance

10:30-11:30 p.m. Body re-members how to move. Far flung limbs. Graceful lines arc-ing. Sweeps of arm, neck, heels. Legs rotate in sockets. Sweeping. Floor widens as I move across. Bones reworking lines. I pick up the pencil to draw. Lines dart out. Hard and swift. Wrists flying. Pencil scratching, catching the surface of the page. Pressure and release ripple out of me. I let the pencil go and lean into the movement. Fast and full. The line articulates something at first elusive. I sit with it for a moment then recognize a trace of the movement. Is this an inscription that records the dance or does it create the dance? In some ways I recognize the dance in the drawing. In other ways the drawing seems to instruct me how to remember the dance. Overwriting and prescribing what will be re-membered. It was a soft December day. Warm with a bit of sun and a lot of cloud. Sirens fill the night. The clock tower chimed eleven.

dance #347, ode to my suit

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wednesday December 2, 2009

Ode to my suit

9:00 – 9:30 p.m. Improvisations with the Second Floor Collective in a tiny studio at the JCC. White sheets torn into rectangles of different sizes are laid out across the floor. They become surfaces, canvases, textures, and objects for improvisation. We rotate. Each of us reads Neruda’s poem “Ode to my suit”. Dances among the others play out. Slides. Switches. Swerves. My body aware. Sensing into a space filling up with improvised encounters. Moving with. Finding clarity. The rain came down hard tonight. Alice is still away. The whole house misses her.

dance #346, weak

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday December 1, 2009


11:30 p.m. Body spent after last night’s illness. The dance my weighted body listing in bed. Still swerving. D reads to me from Cabinet magazine. I tune into his voice as he reads, feeling the vibrations through my sensitized tissues.

dance #345, burdock

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Monday November 30, 2009


1 p.m.- 4 a.m. The headache settled in around 1 p.m. And it just escalated. Swerving sickness in my head. Pounding. Deep. I visualize pulling layers of the fascia around my skull away. Ripping open this seething mass. I drank too much burdock tea and it feels like every molecule of toxin in my body has been mobilized. I’m sea sick inside. I can barely hold the pencil to draw. The dance is the pain. Alice is still away and I miss her.

dance #344, calendula blooming

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sunday November 29, 2009

Calendula blooming

9:00 p.m. Sipping tea while I brew a new batch. I scoop up a large handful of herbs: calendula, red clover, St John’s Wort, blue vervain, raspberry leaf, oat straw, and lemon balm. I’m holding fields of this summer’s flowers in my hands. It’s the yellow petals that catch my eye. I discovered my calendula is still blooming. Late November bursts of bright orange, turgid and waxy. Beaming through these grey days. I visit the flowers tonight, after the rain, bending over to take them in. One flower is spent, one in full bloom, and another just unfolding. I will have to harvest them tomorrow before the frost comes. The dance is in my study. Shivering up from the root. Arms swinging wide, palms swooping. Circling hips, spiraling upward. Energy rises up. Feels as if a sphere of light engulfs heart and head and the space around me. The day was cool. The wet night shivers.

dance #343, sunset from the sky

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Saturday November 28, 2009

Sunset from the sky

5:30 p.m. Sunset over Toronto. The left wing of the plane dips to reveal a magnificent sunset. Red, orange, and blues. It was rain-filled for the past 4 days. This break of blue sky above the clouds is joyful. Fiery. I savour the moment, leaning across D’s body sitting next to me to hold my gaze fast on this brilliance. Heading home from Amherst. Alice comes home soon, too.

dance #342, emily dickinson’s humming-bird

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Friday November 27, 2009

The Humming-bird
by Emily Dickinson

A route of evanescence
With a revolving wheel;
A resonance of emerald,
A rush of cochineal;
And every blossom on the bush
Adjusts its tumbled head, —
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy morning’s ride.

9:30 p.m. Lynn recites Emily Dickinson’s poems. We are next to Emily’s house in Amherst, and today we visited the Dickinson Homestead and the house next door where Emily’s family lived. Lynn recites several poems over the course of the day. The dance is her poised by the fireplace, eyes aflame and intense. She recites a poem about a hummingbird. Emerald resonances. Lynn’s body and mouth and eyes a conduit for the words. The poem rises up from deep inside her bones. The day was filled with rain and cold.

dance #341, feasting

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Thursday November 26, 2009


6:30 p.m. Tucking into a massive meal after a long sedentary day. The food warms my chilled limbs. The dance this lounging and feeding. My belly expanding. Sedated by potatoes and squash and beets and cleriac. Smooth and creamy foods. Long walk with Menina, the Irish wolfhound after dinner through Amherst College grounds. The night air is clearing. It is American Thanksgiving.

dance #340, anxious jaws

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wednesday November 26, 2009

Anxious jaws

11:20 p.m. A rush of anxious energy grips jaws and seeps through teeth that clamp down. Bursts of fury expressed through jaws sinking into flesh. Running through body, up through neck and into head and jaws and teeth. Not sure where that came from. It’s a rainy, foggy night in Amherst, MA. I hope Alice is well.

dance #339, lurching along on the 196

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday November 24, 2009

Lurching along on the 196

6:30 p.m. Riding the new busway through a dark night wasteland of oil tanks and electrical fields and buried pipelines. Sloping hills and long curves. It’s a lonely route. I think about the upcoming winter winds and snow. The dance is the bus thrusting forward into the night and the wobble and swerves and flow of my body in a passenger seat facing forward. I’m weary after waiting 20 minutes for the bus after this long day. Another misty November night. I miss Alice.

dance #338, mountain biking

•November 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Monday November 23, 2009

Mountain biking

12:30-1:30 p.m. Michelle Dumaresq leans into the rock and earth of a steep mountain and propels her body head first down. Rocks and soil and trees and roots, dug up in her tracks. Pounding rhythms, richocheting through her body. I watch the documentary 100% Woman with my class to talk about the history and sociality of science and sex, sexualities, and genders. I really get into the rhythm of the drawing. I post my second attempt. I miss Alice. She’s off hunting still. The day was grey. There was a huge dark cloud off to the east around 2:30 this afternoon. Ominous. It looked like night was already coming.