Today I took the train from New Haven to New York, where I’m rehearsing another project for the next few weeks. Two weeks in the Noyes work is just not enough—thankfully I’ll be back up at Shepherd’s Nine for the first week in August, which is also the last week of the season. Lori Belilove, Artistic Director of the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, will be Artist in Residence that last week and I’m very much looking forward to participating in an embodied conversation between Duncan technique and the Noyes Rhythm work.
The Noyes private lesson is an interesting combination of hands-on adjustment and improvisational movement—think dancing Thai massage with live piano music. Noyes works with a conception of the body as units (generally corresponding to bones) and spaces (or joints). The torso is comprised of three units—the pelvis, the lower ribs/abdomen, and the shoulder girdle/upper ribs. Freeing the spaces right above the crest of the pelvis (roughly at the waist or a few inches below the natural waist for some) and at the bottom of the sternum/mid-thoracic/diaphragm enables one to initiate movement from the midsection of the torso, which is a very different feeling than leading with the shoulders or the hips. The result is a wonderful sense of moving with the whole body, both integrated and free, that is characteristic of early modern dance practices.