By Alan Shingler
I believe that we must use the universal force of gravity to influence all of our movement. I like to use the following concepts:
Fall – which is a part of swing – is a mental desire to move from A to B using as little muscular effort as possible. It is having the courage to loose balance. To live on the edge so to speak.
Catch ( centering ) is a technique from martial arts and is used to create the feelings of being calm grounded relaxed and clear in thought. People often refer to this as being in the zone.
The physical aspects of centering are to be balanced and most importantly to be receptive (catch). The lower joints act as shock absorbers (catching our weight) therefore they are receivers and the upper joints deflect energy creating turn and sway.
The role of the moving leg plays a major role in centering as the absorber to weight. It must be free of muscular tension to allow it to arrive JUST ahead of the body to enable a coordinated catch / reception – thus creating harmony and cohesion.
The secondary role of the moving leg is to aid the timing of the gravitational fall – this is important as each dance has a different ratio of acceleration and deceleration.
Repeat (co-ordination) is having the correct timing of body to moving leg. This we all do naturally everyday when we walk. Co-ordination of movement gets interfered with when contrived actions alter the centre of mass. ”Nothing should take place that is not part of the natural process” (John Delroy)