Breath and Body
by Daria Halprin

Breath and body are inextricably linked. In everything we do, sense, feel, think, breath is there, sometimes as an active partner and sometimes as a silent one. We are involved in a constant breathing dance, whether we know it or not. Making the breath/ body partnership conscious changes our very state of being. Breath sensation opens a wider awareness of every part of the body, and expands the sense/perception experience of the whole body. This is elementary to the experience of grounding in the body.

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Being Here and Now
by Daria Halprin

When our sense of breath, body and movement deepens, so does our capacity to become aware and fully present in the here and now. In fact it is only with awareness and in this being here and now state that anything can be transformed. Movement with awareness is itself a vehicle and a path that allows us to enter into a state of being in a here and now experience. In a method of embodiment through creative enactment, we work with our historical material and memories in the present tense,  in movement and role play. Awareness itself can be curative.    Here we are speaking of soul cure, and of resolving our past so as to live more fully, more response-ably in the present.   Such a process places the body/mind in a dialogue which helps tend to the split between the authentic and defended self, between the individual and her world.  This is a dialogue we undertake by being in body, in movement, with awareness, in the here and now.

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Spirit of Place
by Daria Halprin

The body provides an internal space and container for sensation, feeling and image to be evoked in movement. The studio provides an external stage and a sacred space which sets what happens in it apart from everyday life, ordinary concerns and states of being. As we cross over the threshold from street to studio, we are symbolically entering into another world. The studio itself ritualizes our transition and, when we use the geography of the space intentionally, shifts our experience with everything that happens inside its walls.

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On Witnessing the Aesthetic Process
by Daria Halprin

Tessa is just completing her 2005–2006 L1 weekend training, and part of the completion process is a culminating “self portrait ritual presentation.” One of the opening lines in her ritual presentation was “I am an artist in recovery.” Her statement of her serious life theme was delivered with such a sense of gritty humor, and her dance enactment—movement being a new form of process, discovery and creation for Tessa—had the quality of very serious play, a serious playing with her themes, her emotions, and the images in her life-sized self portrait that hung on the wall behind her. Tessa was moving her images and her life story. And we, her witnesses, were moved by her. “To be moved” is an interesting phrase; it suggests that feeling and imagination are somehow connected to an experience of being in motion. Having always painted, for Tessa being in motion with emotion and imagination is a totally new process: letting her painting move, provoke, open and inspire, illuminates the “everything” (as she calls it) in her life story.

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Click for full transcript of dialog with artwork by Tessa Barr.

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I saw between the leaves and trees, your wide open arms reaching toward the sky .
I heard beautiful bird sound and your breath.
I felt comfort, safe, satisfied
I imagined being embraced by Mother tree, so powerful and beautiful.
Thank you for giving me this experience with you.

Performance Artist Dohee Lee