How many teachers and dancers think of the next class? Do they think of: How can I deepen my plié… How can I squeeze out another pirouette… How can I jump higher or beat my feet even just one more time? Is that it?
Although the physical side of dance is an important part of dance and might bring a spontaneous reaction from the audience, it is not the only way to approach this art form.
Dance is mainly an optical art form, but the eyes are connected to the soul.
A dance class should at some stage approach the character, spirit and soul of the student /dancer.
Dancing is still an art, even in these days where everybody is concentrating on the various aspects of there physical attributes. If there is no soul there is no art.
Let us face the truth. Not everybody in the audience or class is looking only at the technical aspects of the dancer. How many times have I attended performances or open classes and heard people comment on the dancers physical abilities,only to end their sentence with "a pity he /she could not enhance their dancing with some feeling."
The body is the instrument of dance, but the character of each individual gives each dance another interpretation, The spirit of the dancer/student is the driving force in the way they approach each day or individual dance, The soul of the dancer/student is that magic potion that makes the same dance look completely different from one day to the next.
We are human, no one can perform the same dance exactly the same way twice. Thank goodness! Because if we do, we become robotic. So then, lets retire and leave the dancing to the robots. NO! It is the teachers duty and responsibility not only to train the body but to educate, stimulate and expand the mind, as well as nourish the soul of the dancer. It is the dancers duty to grow and nourish the love of this art, by searching, researching and exploring every side of this art form.
There is no such thing as perfection, but we never cease to aspire for a better movement. A better movement being not only the height, speed or clarity of dance, but also what thought or feeling lies behind or in the movement.
When I speak of class content, it includes: Basic training, Technical stimulation and advancement. Understanding of musicality and interpretation. Character development, Mental stimulation and Advancement , as well as the development and growth of the soul in the individual.
In ancient times all the best warriors were also the best dancers. Did this have to do only with there physical condition or did character, spirit and soul play any part in there part in history? The ancient art of dance is still based on the intense need and desire of the human soul and spirit to express itself through the movement of the body.
Dance is divided into 4 parts, being Physical: the body, Character: the adopted behavioural habits from social norms, Spirit: the passion and drive for expression and self discovery, Soul: that individuality that is only one.
Let us open our senses and include every part of each individual in our search for expression in the art of dance.
More about Matthew Trinder
College:University of Cape Town, 1979, Faculty of Music & Dance.
High School: National State School of the Arts, 1975
Interests: Performing and Fine Arts, Metaphysics, Gym, Cycling, Nature Walks, Swimming, Photography, Travelling, Astrology, Astronomy, Persian Carpets, Antiques, Massage, Cooking, Interior Decorating, Gardening.
“Every organism has a purpose.”
“ Nothing can survive on its own”
“Action creates reaction”
“Life is Rhythm”
“The more you know the less you speak”
“Close your eyes and look”
“Compromise indicates strength”
“The hardest people to love are the ones that need it the most”
“The most dangerous creature on earth is man”
“Fad diets and expensive pills wont keep you young”
“Look ahead for at all times you are gazing into infinite life”
“We are not what we seem we are”
“To teach is a GOD given talent”
“Every step is a dance ..in time”