For an intro to drawings and movements see my previous post body explorations.
Other examples of image creation and body-part exploration are illustrated in two images of the pelvis (Figures 3-4). Both of these subjective drawings were created after an extended process involving movement ritual one. Movement Ritual: a structured sequence of movements that increases awareness of movement, range of motion, flexibility, and serves as a foundation for creative movement explorations.Movement ritual patterns are based on the dynamic qualities such as swinging, falling, walking, running, crawls, leaps, and various ways of shifting weight.
As typically happens for pelvis exploration, the component of movement ritual 1 that was use for this particular experience is referred to as movement 5 or spiral rotation of the spine. (Halprin, A.,1981) When I teach movement ritual 1 as a class or part of a larger process, I generally refer to this posture as the baby diapering position. Like a baby who is being diapered you lay on your back with your knees bent, legs splayed one to each side and slightly raised.
In the drawing ‘Flying Pelvis’ (Figure 3) you see an abstract representation of the pelvis. The text of this image reads, “I opened and started to fly (I yearn).” The use of two colors manages to keep the feeling of this image to its core. It’s like a blossoming of a seed, or, as one friend put it, “a baby birthing forth.” One could even perhaps think of this drawing as a subconscious connection to or expression of the diaper position.
This image was created as part of my Tamalpa training in 1987, and, thus was made while deep in the process. The image titled “Elvis Pelvis” (next drawing) was created in 1995, when I joined in the pelvis subject movement exploration with a group during their week-long workshop. Over the years, while assisting I have jumped in and out of processes in workshops, if we needed an extra partner, or more male energy or some miscellaneous reason. This particular image was created on the third day of the week-long workshop when we needed an extra partner.
For this experience we did the usual anatomical drawing and then delved into movement ritual one. Afterwards we did the subjective drawing with the three level of awareness words and shared both the drawing/words and experience with the partner.
The partner and/or group sharing is a valuable resource and experience in the life art process. The method that is used for this activity is referred to as witnessing / active listening. (Halprin,D.,2003) In this process participants are taught theory and techniques for communication skills, conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback. Partners are encouraged to respond, not react, to what they have seen/heard others do. They are taught to express themselves from the “I” place. For instance one might say,” I observed you rolling back and forth while doing your pelvis exploration and I felt comforted.”
In the group and partner experience, participants get the opportunity to share their story/movement experience which is a wonderful way to experience empowerment through self-acceptance and self-acknowledgement . There is also an element of becoming clear as each individual is are ‘forced’ to examine and express an experience in such a manner that others can understand it. In this process with partner/group, individuals often get to hear responses and feedback to what they have shared. This is quite valuable as another’s perspective may open possibilities not thought of previously.
In the image, “Elvis Pelvis,” which I shared with my partner, you see (nearly ten years later) an image that is very similar to the one created in 1987 (Figure 3). There is the same basic shape to both images, although they are oriented in different directions. While the first pelvis image has two colors, the newer image has five colors. Both seem to express an inward/core energy that moves outward. The first image has a more spontaneous feel to it and has a much looser structure. The second image has much more structure, as expressed by the lines which seem to divide the image into parts. This may be an expression of jumping into the exercise as a ‘fill in’, as opposed to having been deep in the process with the first pelvis drawing. Regardless of how I got to what I expressed, this image is a testimony to what I felt, thought and experienced from the pelvic exploration.
Halprin, A. (1981). Movement Ritual. San Francisco: Dancers workshop.
Halprin,D. (2003). The expressive body in life, art, therapy. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingley.
Reprinted from my unpublished manuscript: Renewal and Rediscovery of the Self in the Life Art Process: 20 years as participant, assistant and facilitator. Copy write 2006.