Boundaries Practice 001
We started Boundaries Practice in the early months of 2019, and since then it has taken many forms: a warmup for rehearsals, a workshop open to dancers and human movers of all kinds, a regular hang on the Clubhouse app, a state of specialized awareness, and now, a newsletter.
Boundaries were a sort of armor I vaguely comprehended and could recognize in others, but of which I had very little. I was continually reminded of this fact when people in my life (mostly men, mostly white) would overstep into territory or time or matters that should have been mine alone. I did a poor job of defending those things. So I decided to make a dance about it.
Rather than focusing on the choreography here, I want to begin by talking about the noticing. That’s what changed things for me in a huge way. Just noticing boundaries. I noticed them in space, literal fixtures like walls and closed doors; in gestures, the powering off of a device; in the precision of language, delineating this thing from that; in time, the 90 seconds it takes for anger to dissipate. I noticed them in all the stuff that impacted my day-to-day — my clothes, my home, my calendar, the various interfaces through which I interact with others, even performative behaviors that characterize my work self from my artistic self from my familial self. Boundaries are the surfaces, endpoints, choices, protective layers, and characterizations that give definition to our lives. They’re what I’m going to be writing about here.
If any of this interests you, please stick around and subscribe. Join me and a small group of women, past and present dancers among them, on Clubhouse on Tuesdays at 7pm PT to discuss these matters in real time.
Taylor Unwin, who has been part of this practice since its inception, will occasionally contribute stretches and somatic exercises that target specific parts of the body as we attempt to better understand our own and others’ boundaries.
In the meantime, begin your own noticing and see what happens.
About This Newsletter
You may be receiving this in your inbox because you signed up or consented at some point (I hope!) to receive newsletters from The Assembly Dance. Please unsubscribe at any time, or simply reply with the words “opt out” and I’ll unsubscribe you with no hard feelings — hashtag boundaries, after all.
In response to the dance film Blaine Suque and I put out last week, which was inspired by the concept of recovery from disaster, a friend recalled this unedited conversation between Krista Tippett and Rebecca Solnit, author of “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster”.
BP on Clubhouse
Every Tuesday evening at 7pm, a group of present and former dancers and I host a boundaries-related open discussion and somatic practice️. All are welcome. This week’s theme: ✨ presence ✨ Join us!
Let me know if you’d like an invite to join the app. I have around 5 available.