dance #307, falling

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #307, fallingFriday October 23, 2009


After midnight. I fall asleep with my sketch book in my arms. Pencil slips out of sleeping hand. Sleep arrived fast.  Light still on. I wake suddenly and find the dance. The dance is the falling that comes with sleep.

The rain chills the night air. Wet and cold. It’s warm inside. Alice wanders.

dance #306, brook dances at the dog park

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #306, brook at the dog parkThursday October 22, 2009

Brook dances at the dog park

5:30 p.m. Withrow Park. Brook finds her buddies in the dog pit. The dogs race and rumble. Twisting, lunging, leaping bodies entangled in masses of fur. Spines curving and spiraling. Bared fangs flash. Bodies with no respect for gravity reach for flying objects.  Hurtling through the air. Speeds and later slownesses. Racing bodies find pause. Intense interest subsides then mounts again. A new object generates new encounters and new kinds of play.

The light today was stunning. Grey and foggy. Fall reds and yellows generate their own light, gleaming. Burning through the moist air. Alice is with me when I draw. Calling out for attention.

dance #305, textures and texts

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #305, textures and textsWednesday October 21, 2009

Textures and texts

9:00 p.m. The Second Floor Collective gathers on the 2nd Floor at Dov House. Alo has brought extensive pieces of fabric-like paper for us to experiment with. The paper is crinkly. Movements with the paper generate sounds and forms. The paper remembers intra-actions. Movements generate mounds and swirls. The dance plays with these textures as Ana Francisca reads texts. Neruda’s “Ode to the Book II”. The sound of her reading voice is lost in the loud play that ensues between Alo and I. We swirl long tangles of fabric. Whipping the swirls at each other as we lunge. Soundings. We generate loud, low, cushioned blows as the fabric-paper whips past bodies at speed.

The night is warm, moist, and foggy. Fall colours luminesce. Alice is insistent.

dance #304, rufus

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #304, rufusTuesday October 20, 2009


7-9 p.m. Rufus, now 4, plays and dances in and around his chair at a table where we’ve gathered to dine at La Palette Restaurant. He’s had a long day. Restless and playful. Magic tricks, cuddles, and disappearing acts. The dance is him moving between us, ducking under the table, and reappearing in new places. His body leans and lurches and releases energy. Sliding around on his seat composed of stacked phone books. Eyes wide and bright. Delightful!

Alice active and calling out. The day was warm with some sun. Fall colours iridescent.

dance #303, night slumber

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #303, night slumberMonday October 19, 2009

Night slumber

11:00 p.m. Up too late. Lounging. Body stretched long across bed. Figure drawing. A slumber dance. Alice is agitated. A cold morning softened to a warm sunny day. Lovely.

dance #302, gestures of brain action

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #302, gestures of brain actionSunday October 18, 2009

Gestures of brain action

11:15 p.m. An auto-tuned Carl Sagan enacts gestures of brain action: “But the brain does much more than just recollect. It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes, it generates abstractions…The brain has its own language for testing the structure and consistency of the world…” He articulates each idea with a distinct gesture. I play the YouTube video over and over, watching each of these gestures of brain functionality.  His hands and arms and face are caught up in precise articulation. Eyes and eyebrows alight as his mouth articulates the word “synthesizes” and he brings his hands in together to gather up the force of thought in the space between his palms. Auto-tuning bends the temporality of his voice and gestures.  Sagan’s performance in Cosmos is reanimated.

Alice is here with me, insistently calling out for attention while I focus on the movement. Now sitting with her back to me on the chair as I post. The day was sun-filled and cooling.

dance # 301, sleight of hand

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #301, sleight of handSaturday October 17, 2009

Sleight of hand

8ish. Mosie gets a magic lesson. A magician performs sleight of hand magic with two coins. Toonies appear and disappear in hands that move smooth through a visual plane. Hands reach and pull back, palms furl, fold and unfurl around objects and ether. Fast and playful. Mosie figures it all out and plays through the tricks, full of giggles. It was a beautiful day, sun and blue skies. Alice calls out insistently.

dance #300, a still more glorious dawn awaits

•October 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #300, a more glorious dawn awaitsFriday October 16, 2009

A still more glorious dawn awaits

12:30 a.m. Watching an auto-tuned remix of Carl Sagan articulating the magnificence of the Cosmos. The dance is Sagan reaching toward the horizon with his index finger pointing high. “The sky calls to us.” It’s both what he says and how he says it, including the rhythmical lilt of the music, of a kind of filmic animation of sound and song and inflection and gestures. Electronic animation, bending and stretching time to morph tune and tone and textures of voices. Meanings change too. Stephen Hawking’s voice electronically remodified.  The composer generates song–and so story—out of lines from the TV series Cosmos. It’s a kind of science poem. Sagan enacts ways of knowing and relating to the world, partly through science, largely through story. He enacts gestures of affinity, relation, and entanglement with worldly phenomena on a cosmic scale.  Brains and planets and systems. A performance like no other I’ve seen in the history of the sciences. An amazing composition. An inspiring story. Alice is happy we’re home. She was agitated for awhile. Now she’s chilling out and curled up on the chair, entertained by her new friend.

dance #299, a boy not quite adrift in a hot air balloon

•October 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #299, a boy not quite adriftThursday October 15, 2009

A boy not quite adrift in a hot air balloon

3:00 p.m. I walk through the lobby of a building and a TV newsreel plays footage of a hot air balloon flying out of control through the skies of Colorado. Streaming through the wind. A silver flying saucer. Caught in air pockets. Tossed in the wind. There’s a boy inside. Six years old. The balloon, they fear, could float up 10,000 feet. Later the BBC posts video clips. First of the balloon coming down in a field. And then as the family is being interviewed. Turned out, the boy—named Falcon—wasn’t in the balloon. He’d hid himself in the attic in a box after his dad yelled at him for climbing into the craft. The dance is the floating balloon as the anchorperson narrates the event on TV. “He’s coming down. He’s just about touched down.” The dance is the balloon buoyed, aloft, and out of control, tossed around by fears that a small boy might perish inside. The day was cold, windy and grey. And I listened over and over to a audio-tuned remix of Carl Sagan singing the majesty of the cosmos. Beautiful! Alice wanders elsewhere. She’s agitated.

dance #298, ode to alo

•October 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #298, ode to lemonWednesday October 14, 2009

Ode to Alo

9ish til 10ish. The Second Floor Collective gathers at Dovercourt House. Ana-Francisca reads Pablo Neruda’s poem “Ode to Lemon” first in English, then in Spanish. The dance that unfolds with Alo plays with torn fabric, pastels that slide across cloth and skin, and lines that cross the floor. An interplay of energies. Reaching forward, rolling back. Pulling and rolling and reaching through the poem. Words limber. Salt lingers from a poem we read earlier.  Alo draws pastel pigments from between her toes up along the top of her arch and shin bone. Her dances tonight were beautiful. Biking home it was cold and warm at the same time. Bright stars tinkle. Alice is calling from outside while I write.

dance #297, clearing

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #297, clearingTuesday October 13, 2009


8:48 p.m. A 10 minute warm-up and 2 minute dance in the study after a long day at the computer. I clear the space, close the door, and light a candle. Clearing space for movement to come. I move to move. To listen to what this body might have to say. Body finding lines, rotations, and sinuous extensions. It is a struggle to clear away the day’s concerns and find the focus to tune in. Alice is here with me, pacing and gnawing on random objects. A pencil, the fire extinguisher. She sits on the drawing. The night is cold and clear after a sparkling day, which I watched only from the window next to my desk.

dance #296, when things fall apart

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #296, when things fall apartMonday October 12, 2009

Ordinary Affects, Take 4: When things fall apart

Monday morning. I observe the range of emotions I experienced over the course of an eventful morning. It feels like things are falling, coming at me from above. I lose hold of the feeling of control. Later, when things shift, and I can stand adjacent to the sensations. But the memory of the feelings linger. This range of emotions is the dance I come to draw. It was a long day.

dance #295, drawing as dance

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #295, drawing as danceSunday October 11, 2009

Drawing as dance

11:30 p.m. I just want to draw. That’s the dance today. The movement of the gesture drawing itself a dance. The rush of pent up energy released on the page. Pencil flying across page. Light then fast then thick and slow. Alice is off in the other room. The day cooled down to freezing. Clear skies. Stars sparkling.

dance #294, himalayan balsam

•October 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #294, himalayan balsamSaturday October 10, 2009

Himalayan balsam

12:00-1:30 p.m. Wandering through High Park. Checking out the near-ripe seed pods of the Himalayan balsam growing week-like through the park. Invasive Impatiens. The seed pods store massive quantities of potential energy. Silently waiting. Spring loaded. Ready to pop. I trick Dorion, getting him to touch the pods. Kerpow! One explodes and he jumps back. Seeds sprung, flung. Many of the pods are still unripe, and I approach them cautiously, testing them out, not wanting to pop them before they are ready. The dance is this tentative touching as I feel-out the energy each pod stores.

Alice came home from her hunting trip. The day was stunning. Bright, sunny, and cool. Fall.

dance #293, panic rising

•October 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #293, panic risingFriday October 9, 2009

Panic rising

1 a.m. Setting my mind back to earlier in the day when I could feel the panic rising. Everything falling to pieces. Complete instability. The ground swerving under my feet. Vulnerabilities surfacing. And then I catch myself. Find my feet. Recalibrating boundaries. I shift attention, and the panic subsides. The dance is the full-body sensation of that panic rising. The rains came down today. I ran in the rain in the morning and biked in the rain in the late afternoon. Cooling. Finding ease as I move through falling cloud.

dance #292, chocolate fudge

•October 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #292, chocolate fudgeThursday October 8, 2009

Chocolate fudge

11:50 p.m. Eating hot chocolate fudge. Unsweetened cocoa mixed with raw blue agave. Celebrating the opening of the Ambi-valent Objects Exhibition. The taste is just amazing. The dance is on my tongue. Rich, sweet, dark, and electric. Divine! Moments after drawing, I fall asleep. Exhausted.

dance #291, second life

•October 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #291, second lifeWednesday October 7, 2009

Second Life

10:30 p.m. A two minute dance in the study exploring the gestures and motions of avatars in-training on Second Life. Dorion prepares for an interview on Second Life, and we try to figure out how to get his avatar to move through various worlds. The novice body is awkward. It bumps into things. Swerves haphazardly, and walks through other bodies. I play through the sensations of these simulated forms. Trying on the looseness. Feeling the swing of limbs on weightless hinges. Body buoyant and loose. A robot in anti-gravity. Dorion cries out while I draw. A mouse! Clearly we need to get Alice back from the mouse hunt at my sister’s house. She has work to do here.

dance #290, slumped

•October 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #290, moving through fatigueTuesday October 6, 2009


10:20 p.m. Deeply fatigued today. Standing in the study. Body slumped forward. Some energy sweeps through. Carrying my body upward. Arms lifted, hovering. Opening. I slump forward again and repeat the movement. Feeling uplifted for just a moment. Sleep is coming fast. The rain came this evening after a day of cloud and grey. Alice is still away.

dance #289, creaking bones

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #289, creaking bonesMonday October 5, 2009

Creaking bones

7:40-8:02 p.m. A twenty  minute stretch in my room. Body stiff and knotted. Seeking ease and release for neck and back. Restrictions. Localized intensities. On the floor. Standing. Body swivels, arching back, reaching forward. Rotating hips. Loud cracks. The sound of bone. Limbs clunky. Releasing fused joints. The day found its sunshine and warmth. Alice is still away and we miss her.

dance #288, dying orchid

•October 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #288, dying orchidSunday October 4, 2009

Dying orchid

10:05 p.m. A 6 minute warm-up and 2 minute dance in the living room with a withering orchid. One flower robust and full of life. The other bloom exhausted. Releasing its hold on life. Feeling the collapse of the petals. One petal in-folding, the others shrinking back. The dance moves with this gesture. In-curving. In-gathering. Contraction to seed. In step with the seasons. The buds of these flowers first appeared in May.  It was a cloudy day. Rains returned. And then there was a late afternoon showering of sun. The house misses Alice.

dance #287, flickering

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #287, flickeringSaturday October 3, 2009


8:10 p.m. A five minute warm-up and 2 minute dance in the study. Candles lit and flickering. Eyes closed I take in the sounds and shaking light. Sirens call out through the night. I can hear kitchen sounds from downstairs. Pots and pans crashing and clanking. The dance moves into this field of sensation. Composing a score in multiple registers of sound and light and movement. Alice is hunting mice at my sister’s house for a week or so. I miss her already. The sky was grey and the rains came down hard in the early evening. Now the moon is high and bright. Sparse clouds move through clean skies.

dance #286, sternum

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #286, sternumFriday October 2, 2009


1:00 a.m. Sitting on the floor. Trying to bring width, openness, and breadth to my sternum, shoulders, and neck. Deep bone aches. My sternum fused closed. In-curving just at that point where there should be opening. Bones just on the verge of cracking open, but I can’t find the release. Alice is asleep. The day filled up with rain. A big moon is out now and casting a glow on the patio. Big pale clouds are on the move.

dance #285, bright star

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #285, bright starThursday October 1, 2009

Bright star

8:55-11:00 p.m. Watching Jane Campion’s new film Bright star. A stop motion game in a garden. Three figures: two young lovers and a child. The pair walk playfully behind a young girl. They romp heartily until she turns back, and then they freeze mid-gesture. Stop-motion love scenes. Heartfullness and play. Alice laps up water and calls out while I draw. The day was cold and overcast.

dance #284, oratory gestures

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #284, orator's gesturesWednesday September 30, 2009

Oratory gestures

5:30 p.m. Lecture Hall A, Vari Hall, York University. At the Art Meets Science Plenary Lectures, Martha tranduces the gestures of the scientists propounding the virtues of the new Hadron Collider. Arms round, body incurved around an invisible pulsing sphere. Head down. Whole body emphatically punctuating the words of the scientists claiming access to the deepest truths of nature. The mimicry is comical. Alice is happy we’re home. Cloud and drizzle today. Deep chills rumble through town.

dance #283, startled

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #283, startledTuesday September 29, 2009


11:01 p.m. Alice and I sit on the bed. I watch her paw gently at the thick wool blanket. Suddenly the door creaks open and she lunges, startled, whole body swerving to her left to catch a glimpse of the intruder. She’s been hungry for attention. Now she purrs. The day poured rain in some moments. Winds picking up. Temperature dropping rapidly.

dance #282, submersion

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #282, submersionMonday September 28, 2009


11:30 p.m. Dorion reads from Clarice Lispector’s Agua viva. She writes about the watery depths of caves. Water as the blood of the earth. Water as a force. Submersion. I stand at my desk in the study after a brief warm up. Searching for a gesture that resonates with the sensation of submersion. Body opens, shoulders and chest expand. Pelvis collapse. Body pulls down from root. Sinking down. Alice sits next to me and cries incessantly. The day was rain-filled then the skies opened and sun beamed down. Big billowing thunderous clouds moved fast across skies.

dance #281, i see that i’ve never told you how i listen to music

•September 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #281, i never told you how i listen to musicSunday September 27, 2009

I see that I’ve never told you how I listen to music…

“…I rest my hand lightly on the turntable and my hand vibrates, spreading waves through my whole body: that’s how I hear the electricity of the vibration, the ultimate substratum in the domain of reality, and the world trembles in my hands.” Clarice Lispector, Agua viva, p. 5

9:55 p.m. A 5 minute warm up and 2 minute dance in the study feeling through this shred of text. The story she tells is about moving with and being moved by. And it moves in tension with another story she tells about the capture of an instant, the pulling of instants out of time, and materializing them in crystalline form. The dance lunges wide. Arms and hands like vast drums encircling a pulsing sphere. Electrified and syncopated. Music filters through the study, muted in its movement through the house. Footsteps and wooden floors creaking. Alice sits perched on the chair, looking through me. Grey skies opened and closed again and again throughout the day, letting sun  warm this gorgeous Sunday.

dance #280, matter sensitized by the shiver of seconds

•September 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

dance #280, matter sensitizedSaturday September 26, 2009

Matter sensitized by the shiver of seconds

“I want to possess the atoms of time. And I want to capture the present which, by its very nature, is forbidden me: the present flees from me, the moment escapes me, the present is myself forever in the now. Only in the act of love—by clear, starlike abstraction of what one feels—do we capture the unknown quality of the instant, which is hard and crystalline and vibrant in the air, and life is that incalculable instant, greater than the event itself: in love, the instant, an impersonal jewel, glitters in the air, a strange bodily glory, matter sensitized by the shiver of seconds—and what one feels is at the same time immaterial and so objective that it happens as if it were outside the body, sparkling on high, happiness, happiness is the matter of time and the instant par excellence.” Clarice Lispector, Agua viva, p. 4

1:00 a.m. Dorion reads from Clarice Lispector’s Agua viva (The Stream of Life). We are captivated. Reading and rereading. We pause between her “now-instants”. There is a dance in every one of her sentences.  I alight on the phrase, “matter sensitized by the shiver of seconds” and feel that as an energizing force moving through her prose. The drawing comes in the midst of the conversation like an electronic pulse, as we talk in excited tones and gestures. The rains arrived tonight, refreshing this parched city.

dance #279, the shape of love

•September 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #279, the shape of loveFriday September 25, 2009

The shape of love

7:30-9:30 p.m.. The Move, Dovercourt House. Joyous dancing. As the evening of wild moves winds down, my attention turns inwards. I feel a joy and tenderness rising. Tenderness lifts me. Arms, hands, torso rising, and yet so still. Rooted. Alice wanders and calls out, hungry for love. Sun shone through the early fall chill.

dance #278, the instant is the live seed

•September 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

dance #278, agua vivaThursday September 24, 2009

The instant is the live seed.

For Dorion

“Above all else, I paint painting. And above all else I write you hard writing. I want to discover how I can grasp the word with my hand. Is the word an object? And as instants pass, I take the juice from their fruit. I have to disown myself to reach the kernel and seed of life. The instant is the live seed.”

Clarice Lispector, Agua Viva (The Stream of Life), p. 6.

10:30 p.m. A single gesture in the study. Finding a gesture that resonates. Body taut at centre. Lifting up and pulling down. Strength, gravity, and lightness in an instant. Feeling the potential energy in-gathered in a seed, in-drawn in an instant, ready to burst. Alice wanders and chats. The day was sunny after cloud, and the temperature just dropped very suddenly.