Theory of Movement

It is my belief that any movement-art has to be based on movements that are natural to human body.  And, when I say this, I don’t have any objection to any established dance forms.  However, some dance forms appear to be more natural than others and natural movements appear to cause less injury.  Therefore, another passion I have as a person with a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology is to find the common elements that make the human movements natural and efficient as I examine various dance and movement arts.  Based on my extended research, there are two components that I found to be essential for natural movements: (1) abdominal center and (2) sense of energy flow. 

 (1)  Abdominal Center

 Most ethnic dance movements appear to share this component (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, central Asian, Persian, middle-eastern, African, and Polynesian dances).  The center of the weight is in the abdominal area, accompanied by almost constant plie of knees and opened chest.  This center position is also shared by martial arts and most of the athletic sports, such as baseball, golf, gymnastics, all the ball games, etc.  Abdominal center also assumes abdominal  breathing, which is a breathing pattern babies naturally show during their sleep. In this breathing, the abdominal area expands as we inhale and it becomes flattened as we exhale. 

 (2)  Sense of Energy Flow

 When you watch Tai Chi or central Asian and middle-eastern dances, one of the common factors you may find is the flexible and fluid movements of arms.  Ancient Chinese people believed that human body is supported by vital energy that connects our spiritual body and physical body.  As they went through the martial arts training, they emphasized that cultivation of internal energy and its utilization.  Whether you believe in the existence of such “energy” or simply think that it is about muscle flexibility, you would probably agree that these fluid movements appear quite natural and yet it has its own aesthetic quality.  Therefore, I attempt to include the movement that would make audiences sense such “energy.”

(3) Training System 

 In order to bring in the quality of abdominal center and the sense of energy flow, the best training system exists in East Asian martial arts.  When I teach Qigong and Asian movement classes, I not only consider these classes as a health/fitness classes but also as a basic training for any dancer who may want to perform dance with me in the future.

 

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