Shifting centre

One amazing thing about trying other dance forms when you come from ballet is to experience how other dance forms, in this case contemporary and butoh work with their centres.
It seems to me that, in my ballet body, my centre is located quite high, somewhere along my diaphragm - that may be particularly high and specific to me, but  I'm still convinced that compared to other dance forms, the ballet centre is relatively high.
In contemporary and butoh, the centre is much lower, sinking into the pelvic region, somewhere in the middle between the coccyx and the navel, and to me the butoh centre feels lower than the contemporary centre. This low centre allows groundedness, and in turn a much greater mobility in the upper body.
Shifting my centre is key to my dancing, and, as I realised last time I performed, to a good performance, or at least to one I can be happy with - and I wasn't very happy about my last performance (at the Pegasus's Scratch Night on 13/01/2012 - review by Ana Barbour here).
The tech rehearsal went great; Euton Daley (the director of the Pegasus Theatre, who was doing the lights for the evening) set some lovely lights for me, and Dariusz Dziala took some great pictures (Thanks D!)...
Photography: Dariusz Dziala
Photography: Dariusz Dziala

Photography: Dariusz Dziala

Photography: Dariusz Dziala

In the evening, right before the performance however, I knew already that something was off - I even remember asking jokingly in the dressing room if anyone had seen my centre, that I had lost it --and actually Emma Webb, who was performing just after me (and who will be part of the Moving with the Times show during the Dancin'Oxford Festival 2012), took her boots off, turned them upside down, and, when I pretended to catch my centre, she said: "I didn't know it was invisible!" :) -- yes, yes, I know I might have been putting even more pressure on myself this way. But then I knew also that I would be needing all my three centres for my piece. This piece is called 'Splice', it starts very contemporary, slips into classical after about 2 minutes, and then into more butoh-like improvisation (I can't really call it butoh, but it's definitely inspired by what we do in butoh class with Café Reason). So according to my theory of migrating centres, I should be able to shift my centre throughout the piece. In reality, I think the solution to this problem is simple: stick to one centre, the lowest one I can find, given the state of my nerves. I suspect centres are like voices, the more stressed you are, the higher they shift... so controlling the centre and keeping it low should likely help me both with the dancing and with the stress :)

And I'm even getting a chance to experiment with that on the 28/01/2012, at Café Reason's Diamond Night... I'll let you know how it all goes, and I'll also tell you how this piece came to be my first ever choreography...