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These Eyes

These eyes once closed, they slowly begin to crack open

gently, but apprehensively, fearful of the unknown, of what may lay before them.

They carry expectations, imagination, thoughts and feelings

that are soon to be completely flipped upside down.

They flicker, squint, allowing the light to slowly seep inward,

the way daylight pierces through that crack, that space between the shutters.

They widen and open to the warm offerings of this glow

feeling the energy trickle, passing through, meeting the core and awakening it.

A connection has been felt, has been made.

It’s all beginning again,

it’s new,

it’s happening,

you have arrived.

Suddenly a weightlessness is experienced

caused by a dropping, grounded sensation

connection.

The eyes now filled with light, are soft

no longer intense in their gaze, not guarded or afraid

of uncertainty or unfamiliarity of what forms their vision.

With every blink they see the beauty,

the teachings of the changes

of the shifting energy.

With each and every blink they find more compassion,

appreciation,

towards the offerings of each body and thing

that forms each picture,

moment,

experience.

They notice that each image passes as quickly as it arrived.

Where each is now embraced completely in order to let it go.

With this continuous transformation in which they experience,

they open from within, widening,

transferring the light, warmth and energy received

back out to be felt and shared.

These eyes, they now don’t just see,

they become a portal

transferring energies, sending compassion, connecting to one,

everyone.

These eye’s no longer afraid

commit to the idea of constantly changing their perceptions

on life,

on what it means to be,

present.

Now these eyes, feel vulnerability.

They feel more responsibility,

they experience a greater depth of field.

But it’s real, honest and true, theres difference in how they approach.

These eyes are now more fully formed,

they see more clearly,

Adjust more willingly,

Ask more questions.

They are grateful, they feel blessed.

They cherish each moment that has and that will flicker past.

Each sighting has helped them to breakdown that which was guarding them,

that which they were fearful of sharing, showing, expressing.

With every blink these eyes take, vibrations reverberate outward,

generating and empowering ones mark,

growing and spreading to create meaning and the essence of all we experience.

Beautiful eyes all around me today.

They are honest, compassionate and open.

Thanks is given to everyone for allowing these eyes to be seen and for those eyes to be felt too.

Gratitude is felt for these eyes and those eyes for widening, opening so much that we now begin to become one.

Reflections of ‘Power Of Now Oasis’ 200hr Yoga Teaching Training

March 2015

Written on Sanur Beach, Bali

Annabel Saies

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No Space Needs Me

A quote from a dear friend.

“No space needs me, but I have things that I can offer the space. And it not about serving the space. It’s about making an offer and providing a possibility the space may not have”

Linton Aberle

Sometimes in our lives that are clouded and distracted by other peoples lives, chores, daily routines, it takes one friend to pull you out. Something they say that triggers a new way of thinking or brings you back to the reality of where you actually stand. Yeah you may have done all these things, achieved some work related goals, made the effort to acknowledge your loved ones efforts and successes but have you in each and every one of those happenings been aware of yourself of what you have brought of where you existed in and amongst this chaos.

Today the rain drips on the tin roof of my apartment. It’s a morning that follows a series of saddened events and experiences. Some less significant than others, but nonetheless sad. Whether it’s saying goodbye to a brother half way across the world, the conclusion of an incredible family holiday, the pain and frustration of an injury, or watching someone you love disappear into the universe. These happenings for me always trigger a necessity to reflect, respond or try to make sense of unpleasant situations. I have noticed in my self over the past year that my nature is to find the radiant sunlight in the darkest of places. This search however always being sent for others, in attempt to brighten and uplift their spirits rather than my own.

The quote above, to me, relates to all of what I have said. I have come to realise that I am not needed. If you removed just the element of me from situations not much would be too different. Although this may seem dark and depressing it has given me some freedom and lightness. I am beginning to see that nothing is about me, what’s important isn’t measured on what I do. It is actually about what I am offering in each moment of all the things I do or that I am a part of. Its about what I can bring and offer to a moment or situation that may change its trajectory or open possibilities that may not have occurred otherwise. In the nature of reflection, when reminiscing about people who have come in and out of your life, I think about what they offered the space. What they have given me that couldn’t have been learnt, picked up or experienced in any other way. It’s made me realize that in so many situations I feel hindered in the space. Unsure of what to fill it with, scared that what I may offer will not suffice. But non of this actually matters because an offering shifts the direction, the happenings and circumstances of a moment or situation. I figure that this is more important, this serves everyone more deeply.

So like I said the radiant sun is shed upon the darkness that some may see from this blog. Be free, be unattached and know that your offerings serve greatness to all moments and know that whatever you have to offer no one else does. So be brave and courageous and offer the space something different. Change it’s course, direction and see what happens.

Life is full of space that is already filled with meaning, however there is endless amounts of space still to be explored, even the ones which may seem already concurred.

sounds sensational

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Over the past two weeks I have been fortunate enough to be given a couple of hours a week to begin developing my own 10 minute solo work. This week I cancelled my rehearsals as I have been unwell and thought time spent in the studio space would just be time wasted. It’s funny though that when you choose to listen to what your mind and body needs, it then lends to you in a more positive and productive way.

I woke this morning planning to watch movies all day, but instead I felt an inkling of inspiration to invest in my practice. I have begun to connect the dots in my creative interest. Although fresh, I feel satisfied and today I have experienced growth as an artist and dancer!! This is it everyone, this is where it begins for me. Today I have found some clarity and understanding in the themes that continue to arise in my short lived choreographic lineage.

Growth. Evolution. Development. Progression. Layering. Interconnectedness. Circular. Time. Sound

2011: It all began in second year at WAAPA. I made a solo work that was inspired by a quote from Alice in Wonderland

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where –”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

This solo explored the warping of time and space. How time can spent, and also how we often find ourselves spiralling in and out the known and unknown. The question being, what really is our reality and do we rely upon time to dictate our reality?

2012: In third year my work was inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence. An amazing mathematical system that scientifically proves the growth and development of all naturally occurring things on our planet. The fascination for me in this work was the evolution of a living thing, and the consistency in its growth pattern and how clearly it can be seen in plants, weather patterns. Movement was inspired by nature, currents, waves, and the flow of energy stimulated by these things.

2013: Last year I begun working on a solo titled ‘One of Many’, this work was inspired by my interest in the use of choreography and improvisation in collaboration with one another. I became intrigued at investing my time in finding the beauty and spontaneity of decision making that comes when improvising but inside set choreography. During this process I found myself working with dynamics, rhythms, repetition and variation’s on all, in order to allow one movement to morph organically and feed the next movement.

2014: Currently my latest solo development (sounds sensational) looks around the use of sound, voice, percussion and how these elements can be embodied into movement and choreography creating a dance performance in which sound journeys from its purist form, through variations into movement and into an energetic realm. Taking the audience from the superficiality of sound and morphing it into a more internal and energetic form, using the body to do this.

I am not one for completing a body of work in which every movement is completely new from the one it proceeds. My body, my mind and also my choreographic interest has a desire to show clarity to some extent. A desire to show progression, evolution, a growth and development a change even if ever so slight. As a performer and viewer of dance and performance I thoroughly enjoy feeling like I have been transported from one place to another but in an non aggressive way. In a way that it happens over the entire duration of the work so that I only realise once its finished how far in I was taken.

For now this is my interest, it might not happen this year but one day I hope to create such an experience and a work of this kind.

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Entangled in language

 

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Words, noise, sound’s

So much noise.

Trying to understand my use of language, seeing and noticing the power of spoken word. Understanding but not quite understanding the sounds, noises and words I stream together, but feeling certain about the commitment and drive to be heard. A strong desire to vocalise something, whatever that is, I don’t quite know.

Swept up, pushed, pulled and slightly overstimulated by everything that comes into  my presence. Feeling chaotic.. choices and decisions constantly being made.

How do I make sense of, direct and channel all that I see, experience, feel and desire?

How do you find direction when you know so little, have little experience and such a small amount of life to reflect upon. But are so capable of anything.

Noises, sounds, words not quite formed, they are present, passionate, dynamic and have significance from where I stand. 

A passage for a new solo dance work. An experiment and a development  in which I have begun to embark upon. 

CLICK TO LISTEN to an amazing piece of music motivating me to respond.

Let’s forget this time

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Recently I have been hearing people between 20 ad 30 mention how old they are or that they are running out of time. When discussing this with people I have noticed an urgency and anxiety in the way they speak and what they have to say. Common phrase’s are consistently regurgitated such as has to, have to, must do, need to do. In My thought in response was; who placed these weighted and heavy terms upon us? Ultimately at the end of the day we have chosen to place such pressures and rules upon our lives. Why? Why do we place so much undesired stress and pressure upon ourselves, when usually these thoughts are not waiting to be urgently answered or acted upon.

I have always been fascinated with the concept of time. Often catching myself trying to fit more into the spaces between time, wanting more time or less time and then getting overwhelmed, as I can never consistently define time in my life. Something else that I have heard as of late is we are running out of time or that time is slipping between our fingers. As I consider these statements I become more aware of the fact that of course we are running out of time, time is a measurement and a system that has been built to organise everyone in our world. The way I see it is that if we allow this system to control us, if we count down and measure how many minutes, days and hours have passed in every present moment then yes we are tricking our minds into thinking that we are running out of time. The concept of time plays tricks on our mind as we question if we are making the most of our time, are we doing the right things with our time? Could we better be spending our time doing things which society, friends and family think are more valuable ways to spend our time?

Humans are incredibly intelligent creatures. We are so adaptable and capable of executing multiple tasks all at the same time. Meaning again time can be loaded with numerous things, making us believe that we should be achieving multiple things with our time, all at the same time. We feel a need to constantly be doing things, continuously stimulating our mind and body on more than just one simple task. For instance right now I’m currently engaging in 5 different tasks.

1. Writing my blog

2. Listening to music on my computer

3. Talking to my housemates

4. Cooking roasted veggies in the oven

5. Checking email’s and paying bills online

This has made me aware that I am not 100% engaged in each and every one of these tasks. However I am able to keep track of and maintain concentration upon those 5 different activities. This is insane!! It’s pretty amazing that we can place ourselves in so many situations at the same time. So what do we do about this. It’s overwhelming how much we can pack into our lives when we have the ability to do so much in any given moment. This will never change and we are forever going to have things to do, no matter how many we try to complete in each moment. As soon as those tasks are completed another 5 are waiting to happen. We live in a world that overstimulates us that constantly feeds us with new ideas and opportunities something bigger and better always on the horizon.

So my resting thoughts are how can we slow down time, how can we be 100% engaged in the present activity and moment? Maybe if we really let ourselves be present and engaged in each activity we will feel more satisfied. It’s like when we are told to eat our food slowly, chew each piece 10 times before swallowing and as a result we will feel full won’t need as much food. Or when you laugh and you really laugh and your whole body is laughing. This experience doesn’t need to last so long, it begins to hurt, your belly is tight, you might cry, you might become short of breath and you almost beg for it to stop because it’s so funny. The hilarity is too much to bear, this is a whole body experience and it sustains you after a short amount of time. Lets treat every moment like intense laughter, lets see how much we can get from our experiences so that it allows our entire body and mind to feel something, so that we can then make a choice when we want this to stop and when we want to move on to the next activity. Let’s try and let go of time, and let’s just experience and allow ourselves to be within what we do, not outside of it looking a list, a clock or to determine our next step.

Whose responding?

Recently I have been becoming more aware of not only my responses and reactions to certain things in life and to art, but the responses and reactions of others. Last week I attended a gallery opening in Sydney to support the work of visual artist Todd Fuller. It was a new exhibition of a series of work he had collaborated on with visual artist Mylyn Nguyen. Together they had combined and overlapped their works to create something new, mysterious and in my opinion ridiculously cute and whimsical. The exhibition consisted of a series of terracotta bears/characters made by Todd and decorated and dressed by Mylyn in various materials. To me each piece stood frozen in time and I felt that at any moment they could begin to move and come to life in the gallery. Because of this I began to wonder and create a meaning and a story to these characters journey up until now.

However the point of this blog isn’t to review the sculptures. My interest lays in the difference in response and reactions that art can trigger in people and how is this so. We visually see the same thing, but once it passes through the eye and into each individual body, it’s altered, changed, perceived and felt differently in each human being. This thought became prevalent when feedback from one ‘gallery goer’ was that they found the work grotesque and completely ridiculous, finding no possible way to connect, understand or receive anything from the sculptures. This instantly intrigued me and made me wonder where this person was coming from. Why did they have this response? Why was it so different to mine? How can one person’s response to art be drastically different to another? I know this isn’t such a huge thought provoking concept to be thinking about, this is art right? Of course we all respond to it differently, I realise this and I know that this is why it’s here, to allow people freedom of expression and to respond and react in their own ways. However it just got me thinking…..

It has made me more aware of how I am responding to art and situations and that everything connects and influences the next. As we live moment by moment, minute to minute it becomes difficult to allow our past experience to drift away. It becomes difficult to not allow our past experiences, thoughts and situations to affect our future experiences or the experiences that happen next. I believe that when we are exposed to art, whether an unusual gallery exhibition where we don’t really know what to expect, a film in which we haven’t seen the trailer or music from an artist we have never heard sing, responses can be extremely different. In this instant at the gallery this was my finding. I had no idea what to expect. However my day up until this experience was satisfying, I got to dance all day, work with other professional dancers, choreographers and artists on a new work to be performed in Sydney. I worked, I did what it is I am trained and qualified to do, and I felt great. I felt professional and successful on this day. I went to the gallery feeling open, ready for anything, enjoying the fact that I had finished a day of rehearsals and was off to see the opening of another artists work. I felt supported and welcomed as an artist in my day and so was feeling supportive and embracing of other artists. Did this dramatically determine my response and reactions to Todd and Mylyns sculptures? I am not entirely sure and never will know. But it did trigger thought. Why do we respond and react in certain ways to different situations, and can we take a step back before allowing our reactions and responses to impulsively determine how we feel about something. Can we make space, can we drop where we have come from, what we have been previously exposed to, the feelings and emotions from the past, can we let this melt away, soften, in order to see and experience something as it is, in the present moment and time of experience?

If we are allowing one experience to affect the next are we really experiencing things completely..? Is this a new experience..? Or is this a ripple affect of the one that just occurred..? Everything is somewhat interconnected and of course it’s probably almost impossible to let go of our past and previous experiences. They will always affect our responses, reactions and thought processes as they are a part of us. But are they…? Are they a part of us or are they just there..? Of course they happened, but do we have to hold onto them and make them who we are or let them control how we think, breathe and move in life?

When has this happened to you and you have noticed that your previous emotional state or experiences leading up to something have significantly affected your response or reaction’s in another moment.

My challenge is to become more aware. To notice, to allow myself to experience things with new eyes. This idea that our past experience affect’s our reactions, responses and opinions to things is something I believe is of truth.
Because of this is makes me wonder how we are limiting ourselves. What are we missing out on if we continue to live and experience in this way? What else is there to feel and think if we allow ourselves the freedom and space to approach things as if we have had no experiences prior to this one..?

What’s your reponse

Amplifying Life

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Life feels amplified!

Since returning to Sydney my experiences feel cranked up, full of energy and atmosphere. Life is loud and full of sound and stimulus. Sometimes overpowering and out of control in which I find it difficult to make sense of it’s rhythm (a ringing in my ears) other times I feel like I am part of the song, singing harmoniously with it listening to and processing all the elements and noise it produces.

I like this idea, this idea of a song, noise and sound to experience movement generation. The journey the voice, sound, noise can take and the physical response in the body from these initiators. Much like daily life, how routines, situations, dynamics and energies from people can map or impact your day.

Since moving back to Sydney I feel a greater awareness and connection to my life. To how I am acting, behaving and choosing to think and respond to certain elements. I feel like things are beginning to manifest. I giving, sharing and taking more immediate action their I am getting more out of everything and learning from it all too. It’s exciting and I am excited.

‘Amplification’, I like this word. It’s an area in which has become of some interest in my artistic and life practice. A thought was triggered when at Soft Landing by my mentor Amelia McQueen. Amelia spoke about her experience when watching me in performance around my use of voice, sound the body and movement. My attention was brought towards a pattern that I had begun to fall into when playing with these tools. From an internal and external perspective I had put myself in a box, limiting and placing restrictions around how the body responds to voice and sound. What was becoming easy and familiar was how quickly I would generate a character or dramatic theme in my body and movement when creating noise. The challenge and interest for me became around allowing the voice and sound to converse with the body, transforming and morphing into a more physical response via the form of my trained dancing body. My task from Amelia was “Amplify the movement using sensations and sounds”. A task that has since been on my mind and is now a growing area of interest.

I am still unsure or what this means or what can come from this however it’s an area which I will begin to explore physically. I have always been a rhythmical dancer, who responds strongly and dynamically to music. However my task now is in trying to play with generating my own rhythm’s and sound’s and allowing the time and space to impact my movement choices. I want to work around the idea of the evolution of sound into movement and how the two can morph into and out of one another.

Who knows what will happen… I don’t

If you are feeling inspired please comment and feel free to present me with a task

Ready. Fire. Aim

For those reading who don’t know me I am Annabel Saies. A freelance, independent dancer/performer/maker/artist. Most importantly I dance, I perform and I want to spend my life creating, recreating and sharing my artistic and life practice. 

For my first blog entry I have decided to begin reflecting upon my experience over the past 3 weeks at ‘Soft Landing’ in Canberra. A program run by two inspiring and captivating Melbourne based dance artists Amelia McQueen and Natalie Abbott. Soft Landing is a platform for graduate dancers to bridge the gap between university and the real world, funded through QL2 Dance Inc. 

I write this blog as Soft Landing has inspired me to practice taking action on things I desire but also things I fear or am unsure about. Amongst many other things it has pushed me to give anything a go, to challenge myself, to work in an uncomfortable mode, to embrace creativity and play and to allow myself to not know…

So here we go I am ready to fire and aim. 

What are your expectations? A question I was confronted with as I took my place around the square table on day one. Confronted with 10 new faces, eyes wide, bodies stiff in anticipation, all eyes were on me, it was my turn to share!! What did I expect? 

Upon reflection heading into Soft Landing I expected that the course would give me answers, that I would leave knowing. Knowing the kind of art and dance I want to create, give me specific advice about where I am heading, how to make it happen, how to create a life and career in dance. Three weeks later I leave wanting the exact opposite. The intention of the three weeks was to place ourselves under the heading of ‘Don’t Know, Don’t Know’. Focusing of the concept that the largest portion of our pie chart in life is consumed with the things we don’t know that we don’t know. Take a moment to reflect upon this statement yourself. You may find yourself banging your head on the table in complete bewilderment and utter confusion or maybe you are laughing and suddenly feel like running outside and embracing everything you never new about life and that you will forever not know. The challenge of this concept and mode of living is that it makes you feel uncomfortable, challenged and unsure. As humans this is not our instinctual way to live and so in order to live in the ‘Don’t know, don’t know’ we need to take action. 

Soft Landing presented many experience’s for each individual and was a personal journey for each of the 10 artist. My personal experience allowed me to become more honest, present and aware of myself. I realised that for a large portion of my life although only spanning 23 years, I have created and hence the people around me have created a story that portrays me in a specific way. Positive, optimistic, happy, light and joyous in my expression of self, someone who feeds, motivates and pulls the energy of a group together. Maybe thee things are true, but maybe they aren’t, what is the reality? I don’t really know? However this is not the point. What I realised was that because of this story majority of my energy has been focused into those around me. A desire to want the best life for the people who are important to me, to make them smile, laugh and for their experience around me to be filled with love, fun, happiness and joy. Is it because this is what I want for myself too..? Of course I do. However what this did bring to my attention is that by doing this I may loose myself in situation’s, I take myself out of experiences to some extent and then maybe I am misunderstood, maybe I’m not.. I don’t really know. Soft Landing has also made me aware that my experience of myself or of a situation can not and never will reflect the same experience of the individuals sharing that experience with me. Hence this idea that how I think I am around people is not a true reflection of who I am, or even their experience of me. Because of this awareness I feel freed, I fill liberated, light and buoyant. I liberated and open and I have a stronger presence and sense of how I feel, respond, act and reflect in each and every day. 

It’s just a beginning, I am just starting to practice these things in my life and arts practice. But in this very moment right now, I feel true and honest. I can hear the car’s and the people in the street below, I can smell the remains of coffee in the paper cup and from writing this blog here are three words expressing how I feel.. 


Curious
Pleased
Content