A page written by Lisa Nelson

A Widening Field 2002English
M. Tuffnel & C. Crickmay, A Widening Field (Hampshire: Dance Books, 2002): 61.

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I look at the senses as attentional tools.  Their physical organs are focussing instruments.  My body must move to tune each of them in to a desired channel.  I’m grateful that their simple instructions give me cause to move. 

            When my body and eyes are still, I can feel the movement of my attention shifting from sense to sense, and past to future, a sensation of light roving inside me and weaving in and out through my skin. And also a more muscular sensation of tiny shifts inside my eyes.

            My dancing, like my imagination in my resting body, arises out of an ocean of sensorial images.  I find myself in an active dialogue with both the shocking originality of the details of my local circumstances and the associational imagery--the memory in the body--they almost simultaneously trigger.  Caught up in this scintillating adventure I practice moving my attention to focus through one sense at a time.  This choreography of shifting attention serves to reposition my imagination and intensify my sense of permeability where the oft-useful boundaries between inside and outside my body dissolve.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself dancing.  Don’t get hung up on what the word dancing means.  For one minute.

            Now, clasp your hands and continue. For one minute. 

            Tell me:  What did you imagine? 

How did the image come into focus?  Where were you?  Was there a visual image?  Color?  Were the surroundings familiar? Were you a spectator seeing your dance from outside?  From how far?   Was it a body you were seeing?  Were you alone?  Were you inside the dance?  Was it you dancing?  Were you dancing with your eyes closed?  Was there a kinesthetic image?  Were you feeling it?  Seeing the room or your body parts pass by?  What were you wearing?  Did you hear something?   Music?  Did your moving make sound?  Was it a dance you’ve done before?  Seen someone else do?  Always wished you could do?  Done in a dream?  Was it physically possible for you to do?  For any human to do?  Were you having thoughts? What happened after you clasped your hands?

            What were you doing right before you closed your eyes?

            Now, from which senses did you build the image?