Movement Makes Meaning


How we move in space has always been something that intrigued me.


When I was five years old, at my first ballet class, there was a young ballet teacher that made us pretended there was a string attached to top of our heads, and that is how we would be pulled up to sit up straight. I fell in love with the idea that something external and conceptual could make our body move in space. 


Dance is a big part of my life, being totally tone deaf, dance is my only musical outlet of expressing joy in non verbal means. When I imagine people enjoying a space I see them in my mind almost dancing in it. Floating from spot to spot, to a rhythm and tempo the space will provide them with. 


Watching dance performances always made for an exciting and inspiring moment for me, another means of interpreting use of space through choreography and the dancers abilities. Similar to space design there is a non verbal narrative that is left to the interpretation of the viewer or user. 


But this seemingly "free form" expression is only achieved, and will only be read well by viewers or space end users after rigorous training and practice. In order to be able to improvise in space or dance you need to know the basics, the ABC of the point/flex motions and the correct arm extension. 


Over the weekend this clarity came to my mind as I was watching a lyrical hip hop interpretation performance by Rapheal Xavier , he managed to take me on a movement journey, the likes of which I have not been on far too long. He thoughtfully taught me the DNA of movements and sounds that are part of hip hop and then ventured on to go back in time to the roots of hip hop, finishing his piece with the future of hip hop. 


It was short, beautiful, soulful and so thoughtful. It was a master class of how to clearly communicate movement in space -- I was truly moved.

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