Going back to the essential

by Lorella Rapisarda

This is something I go back to as a cycle, when I feel that everything around me is becoming crowded: THE ESSENTIAL.

It is an oasis of clarity where I can take away the unnecessary and stay with what really counts. In my work with movement the research of the essential is an important part of my approach, not only beacuse it is one of my typical feature when teaching, but also because it is necessary to go back to the basics and primary knowledge to have a clarity in our physical sensations. To guide our sensations and search for the essential will help to clarify many things about coordination, body organization, the intention of movement, expressivity. This doesn’t mean that we are missing something, it means that only what counts will be there. Sometimes it is necessary to take away the superfluous to better understand what is going on.

Of course the “essential” rapresent different things for each of us, depending on our priorities, but in the dance or in the work with movement as we see it from the Laban/Bartenieff perspective, the work on the essential means going to the heart of the things: clarity in antomy knowledge, physical sensations, the use of the deeper muscle groups, where the movement begins, with what kind of quality/intention, in which direction, what does express, etc.

Working on the essential can help us to avoid the wrong pathway, it will help us going to the right point. In this way we cannot find deviations and shortcuts, and we learn to send clear messages to the body, for a clear technique and efficacy of movement. Finding the right connections it’s an act of selection between the many stimuli we receive through our perceptions when we move, it is about picking up what we need in that moment for that specific movement.

We find ourselves surrounded by distractions and too many information, and when it comes to the work with movement this can create confusion. The essential is not only something to work on when we move and dance, it’s also a mental attitude that guides us to think: what do I really need now? What should I concentrate on to have the results I’m looking for?

Maybe we should take it as a healthy habit, like something that can help us go back to ourselves, to listen to ourselves, searching for what is necessary to reach our goals without distractions.

Beside what we can think about the research of the essential as something boring or without stimuli, this kind of work is actually very demanding, a lot of attention is requested and the imput are very precise, it is our turn to find a happy ending and apply what we have learned.