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[Personal experiences]

Discovering a new way of knowing

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d a n c i n g

5 Rhythms is a journey through movement, developed by Gabrielle Roth around the 1960's. The 5 Rhythms has 5 distinct stages (Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, Stillness) and accompanying philosophies. These stages are accompanied with music and some guidance from a teacher. Even though each particular stage invites movement, there is no defined or set movement. It is completely intuitive and individual to move in a way that your internal self desires.

" It demands listening to the beat of your own heart, finding your own rhythm, singing your own blues, writing your own story, acting out your own fantasies; and seeing your own visions…"
(Roth, 1989: 26-27)

Using 5 Rhythms has helped me to gain some perspective on the feeling of performance, why I experience things the way I do, the type of performer I can be and wish to be. Mostly importantly, 5 Rhythms has become much more than just a 'construct' of a performance but weaved a web of relationships from past to present. It has provided a medium for me to interpret as well as perform the ecology of relationships I have lived in my life.

Through the course of journeying the 5 Rhythms path I have come to understand activism/performance as a way of knowing. A mixture of both left and right brain, a process of letting go at times, moving on impulse, leaping into the unknown, wriggling out of commitments, juggling, balancing, falling, tip-toeing, standing on the edge, heavy, light, walking on thin ice, being cornered, jumping obstacles, manipulating obstacles, the list goes on. These images are all things I have felt myself doing in different performance contexts. However, these are just words on the screen that don't really represent the depth or extent of when I perform. I hope that the following chapters somehow capture the essence of my experiences.

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