Dance as a writing prompt?

My new friend Miriam is a long-time professional dancer and choreographer. I met her in a writing workshop at Bar Ilan University and have enjoyed hearing her tales of dance, particularly those she found herself in while living in far-flung areas of the world foreign to me.

But yesterday, Miriam surprised me even more when she led our group in a movement exercise designed to be used as a writing prompt.

Movement as a writing prompt?

While I’ve sometimes walked around outdoors as a way to move past writer’s block, I never would have guessed that following simple guided instructions on how to move in space would bring such a wealth of content to the surface …and so quickly.

The experience for me was remarkable. While in it, I was singularly focused on following Miriam’s instructions. But as it turned out, my body’s movement allowed my mind to relax … and open up to new ideas.

In the final of three exercises, Miriam instructed us through a series of varying movements during which we were to write our name in the air. For the final movement, however, we were to present ourselves to the group, then write our name in the air.

jen

I noticed a grave difference between how I felt when I moved independent of the group and wrote my name in the air, and how I felt presenting my name inside and to the group. The difference was physical. An ease that accompanied my independent movements … a stiffness that showed up once I faced the group.

This physical discomfort stirred inside my creative space afterwards, when we sat down for ten minutes to write.

And it was this discomfort that became a poem that I dare to share with you…

The Group.

Take care with my bare heart …

With the me out there.

===

 

Me Alone Meets Me Out There

Will I always be two Mes?

The Me alone and the Me out there?

When I am Me alone, fast or slow, I am me.

Giggly, thoughtful, silly me.

When I am Me out there, within without, I am not me.

I am a stilted lilted version of me.

A me wrapped in bubble wrap.

A me on display.

I am cute, a hoot, but not a whole

Me.

I wish the two Mes would meet one day

On the street, on the stage,

in the office, on the page

And decide to become one.

The Me alone

and the Me out there.

Easy peasy pair.

==

(All content, including poetry, is original — unless otherwise noted — and copyright Jen Maidenberg.)

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6 thoughts on “Dance as a writing prompt?

  1. Oh this is a fabulous poem! I really love it. It’s rhythm is lilting and beautiful AND it made me think. Also, I must know what those exercises were; they sound incredibly valuable 🙂

    Like

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