The Key to the Heart
February 14th, Valentine's Day. Also the second and last day of the public workshop. As a warm-up, they did the rolling of the spine on the floor. It is an extreme stretch, and the purpose of it is to feel the spine. So, Hino sensei constantly reminded the participants, "It is not about doing the form correctly. The exercise is for you to feel your body more and better. If the form makes it difficult for you to touch the bottom of the spine, for example, try changing your leg
Stillness That Lives
Day 1 of the public workshop by Amy and Hino sensei. Despite the fact that February is a hard month to gather people for an event like this, there were more participants than expected. About a half of them had taken the previous workshop in October. A few new faces. The workshop had two main focus points: the objective eye and relationship-- How can we develop the awareness of being seen and use that for expression? and how can we create a "real" relationship on the stage? Th
Day 10: Never Ending Journey
So February 12th was the last day for the studio work between Amy and Hino sensei. It was more or less like the previous day. In the morning, Amy's students came in for the shooting. The only difference was that there was one more observer, a friend of Kenzo's and filmmaker, in the space. Hino sensei would occasinally explain to the filmmaker what Amy and her students were working on. He also mentioned the bigger context of Budo (martial arts) to her. Why it is so valuable an
Day 9: Practice Hard and Light
It was a special day today. First of all, it was sunny, and the sky was refreshingly blue with patches of cotton candy clouds. Secondly, something remarkable happend at the studio. In the morning, Amy had two of her students, Amber and Sandra, come in along with Eddy the filmmaker in order to capture how she, as a teacher, would incorporate Hino sensei's work into her teaching and how that would affect the students. They went through a series of basic Hino Method exercises to
Day 8: Do It For Real
While waiting for others in the lobby of Chassé Dance Studios this morning, I saw a group of mothers with thier babies huddling. Right next to the lobby is a dance studio where a ballet class was happening. One of the mothers stood up with her baby and walked up to the window of the studio. The baby looked at the dancers inside with such curiosity. Maybe someday she might become one of them... Today at the studio, Amy and Hino sensei focused mostly on reviewing what they had
Day 7: What Is Beautiful?
Woke up around 8am and looked out the window of my apartment. There were towering clouds just above the high-rise buildings. The rising sun painted them dark orange with a tinge of pink. The work of nature caught me unawares and stopped time for a brief second. Then, it was gone. How elusive yet unmistakable beauty is to us humans! Yes, beauty was one of the things that were discussed at the studio today. Hino sensei often speaks of "a sense of beauty" when working with perfo
Day 6: Practice, Practice, Practice!
There was some errand for me to run in the morning, so I came into the studio a little later than usual, around 11:30am. Amy was working by herself in the corner. Kazuko sensei was calmly watching her from a distance. Hino sensei was talking with a new observer Kenzo. I mentioned him briefly in the previous blog (Feb. 6), but he is a Japanese dancer/choreographer based in Amsterdam. Kenzo not only admires Hino sensei's work fervently but also practices it tirelessly for his d
Day 5: How to Practice Expression
Today was the last day of the first week. 10am to 4pm. Amy and Hino sensei focused on connecting and relationship. In Hino sensei's work, the exercise called "Shomen-mukaiai (正面向かい合い)" is considered to be the most fundametal. Shomen means the right side. Mukaiai means facing each other. I usually translate the exercise as Facing. Two humans meet face-to-face. That is where everything begins. It starts out with the simplest format; two people stand facing each other, 1-1.5m ap
Day 4: "Meaning of Technique"
Today was Hino sensei's birthday. When I asked him how old he turned to, he said, "68." I was somehow taken aback by the number, not just because he moves much, much better than younger generations; I think I was simply in awe of the flow of time. His life's journey, what he has done to and for the world, is getting more and more profound as history. Speaking of history, he and Amy had an interesting discussion today at the studio. Amy was explaining one of the reasons so-cal