Friday, December 14, 2018

Winter Begins with Authentic Movement

Winter Begins with Authentic Movement

I will be leading a movement arts workshop exploring the forces of Nature thru the lens of Winter.
This Winter Solstice- December 21 from 4:30-6:30 at Yoga Well Studio in Grass Valley. $25. 
Space is limited to 10. Contact me thru email or text if you wish me to reserve your spot at: 
530-575-8588 or

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sensing, Feeling, Contact; at the Beach

Top photo is of Paula Perlman and Dawn Werme Pratson; Middle photo is Robbyn Scott and Dawn Werme Pratson; Bottom photo is  Paula Perlman with Michael Richter. My friends and I (at this moment - the photographer) at the La Jolla Cove Beach in San Diego- October 4, 2018.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dancing Reading Online - at the NDEO Conference

I'm headed to the National Dance Educators Organization Annual Convention. It's October 4-7 in San Diego. My dance friends and I are presenting our group called the Dancing Reading Online Group, because we read books, research how to present the material in the book into a creative dance exploration that informs our dance making skills, and deepens our connection to the reading material and explores our video/ internet skills: all in one swoop! Tall order but it is a super fun and valuable time spent with lovely dancing partners. Here is a photo of us on our GoToMeeting format. I am in the bottom left hand corner. Because it's the internet, we can meet from anywhere in the world, and we all live in very different locations. But this week, we will meet each other in the flesh, all in one physical location for the first time!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New class

I picked this photo to promote my new class series in Authentic Movement because I appreciate that Air, Water, Fire and Earth all dynamically play out together through this image of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica ( thanks to Michael Richter for his photography). These Elements are what I will draw upon to begin our movement investigations. The birds flying on a breath of air, reminds me of how natural and empowering it is to feel movement coming form you Source.

Beginning September 17th, I will be leading an Authentic Movement Class that leads into a Study Group. This will be taking place at Yoga Well Studio in Grass Valley, CA: Monday morning from 9:30-11. First time, Drop-In cost is sliding scale: Drop-In costs $14, Class Card is $12.5 per class. Email me to sign up, or, if you wish to communicate further about the work at Blessings along your path!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Bahia Honda State Beach

This post was going to be about dance but instead it is about another passion of mine. Looking deeply into the nature of things. I took a trip across the country to visit the one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so the sign says in the parking lot. I'm at Bahia Honda State Beach in Key West Florida standing behind a linked fence when I took this photo. This is as close as I came to stepping on the luxurious soft white sand. What I failed to take into consideration when I planned this perfect beach and snorkeling trip, is how impermanent Nature really is. I imagine it to be always there waiting for me, day after day, the same. Last year, Hurricane Irma hit the Key West Coastline and impacted this beach. I forgot that bit of news. So, here I stood, in it's wake, at a closed beach. Maybe that's why the hotel had this too good to be true deal.
Another important lesson learned is that a Hurricane, such as Irma, is a death sentence to the fragile coral reefs and coral life. For these sea creatures are territorial and stay devoted to their homes even with the warning signs of incoming danger. This area is a home to many species of sea turtles, and this tempest meant massive devastation for the sea turtle population. The sea turtles are too slow to get away safely and some varieties of turtles were only hatchlings when the tidal surge hit. Other species of turtles still had eggs laid in nests, pummeled, some at this beach. I share their loss in my body felt sense of connection to this planet, this home. Impermanence. It brings sadness, beauty and compassion for all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

In View of Efva Lilja

I have been hurled forward thinking differently about dancing in my environment thanks to the work of Efva Lilja. Lilja is a choreographer, artist, researcher, and author. She writes beautifully about her movement experiences. At one point in time, she was awarded the opportunity, from the Swedish Royal Academy of Science, to be part of an expedition to the North Pole. She went on to explore movement on the frozen terrain, to document the somatic experience, and to keep a travel journal of the whole process that would eventually lead to a public performance. I was moved by her observation, "The Arctic is like nowhere else." Have I ever been brave enough to go somewhere else, like nowhere else I had ever been? How awe inspiring it is to realize the immense variations of environments on this home planet. Lilja oberves, "The cold forces us to constrain our bodies, to stop wasting heat." The darkness sets a different rhythm and the natural world makes its considerable resistance felt." I read this at my home in California, and what refreshing somatic imagery to have on this hot summer day. How can her research inform my dance pursuits? I am not planning a trip to the frozen landscape, and my environment seems rather tame in comparison. Yet, what if I were to switch the roles. What if someone, or some creature, who had only been accustomed to the Arctic life, came on an expedition to my land. This line of questioning puts me in another suit, something new to try on: to feel how my environment is like nowhere else.
Suggestions for Dance Making Watch Efva Lilja on YouTube: the Art of Dance in a Frozen Landscape Give yourself time to explore your own improvisational movement in a safe place outdoors, with a dance friend would be ideal! One can read the suggestions, sensitive to timing, and watch how the other one moves. Then switch roles. Or, if you are alone, read and memorize the suggestions and then follow them on your own timing and see what develops. -Close your eyes and spend time centering your mind and body - Feel yourself in your body, with your feet making contact with the ground - Continue with eyes closed and feel the light, then air, then energy around you. - Listen to your environment with your eyes closed. Allow your sense of smell and taste to be activated too. - Open your eyes and sense what is the first thing that catches your attention, what calls to you? - Let your first impression, surprise you, and follow your instinct to move!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Flying backwards

This is what it feels like for me to be doing technological media things - flying backwards towards the floor. So here I am. Thank you Catharine Bramkamp of for giving me a private tutorial on Social Media and Technology. I think when I land, it will be impressive, to me at least. Now onto dance blogging.

I belong to an International Reading Dancing Research Online Group. We could use a simpler name but there are 10 of us and the group is closed, so the name is least important. The group consists of educators, choreographers, and artists of a professional status. What we do is read an assigned book and turn the reading assignment into a live stream movement improvisation through a GoToMeeting format. Exciting stuff. I am not technically minded and I can often lose the mic or camera connection for some odd reason and have some glitch of some kind that is apparently funny. Well, somehow it all makes for tasty soup.  We connect through our love of spontaneous decision making that is bred from observation, study, and research. It also helps that each of us comes to the live stream with an open, playful, supportive attitude.

Thank you Michael, Paula, MaryKay, Dana, Celeste, Robbyn, Cassie, Beth, and Dawn- my dancing online buddies!

When we meet, we are all in our square spaces. These squares are stacked upon each other like a version of the game show Hollywood Squares. (Yes, I watched a lot of this show growing up.) It is part of our research to see what reads inside these squares and what doesn't work. Sometimes, the movement score through the video stream seems flattened and less approachable. Other times, it's totally absorbing. For an example of something mesmerizing: A woman moving her hands through her hair in a frantic way ( in one box) while in another box, there is an open book in tight proximity to the camera, it's pages wildly flipping. Viewing movement in one square box, while in another is a moving prop, creates all sorts of exciting storylines and connections.

Comments? Anyone else out there with experience of multi -performance events occurring behind camera lens?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thank you Michael Richter for all that you do!  I see your kindness and acceptance of others, creates a warm community around you wherever you are. Your actions inspire others, like myself, to be the best we can be!
Last year, Michael created an Online Dance Group and invited me to join making this a group of 10 international dance educators. At the time he included me, I was bogged down with others jobs and responsibilities. Never finding any time for my creative self. I looked to Michael. I saw Michael following a dream he had, to create an Online Reading Research Dancing Live Stream Group. He had never seen such a thing, but he imagined it so. So, he contacted dance friends and got us all together. I came out of "the closet" and felt the least qualified. Still, I allowed myself to try and be my best to contribute to the dream. We all have talents to bring to the table. And in doing so we come out of our fear and allow ourselves to be seen. In being seen, we cultivate self acceptance and self respect. So it is with my experience.  I began teaching Authentic Movement Classes again, I created a Facebook Page called @authenticwithlisa " and this Blog, and, created projects such as the video seen on this
Blog.... Thanks to Michael's inspiration. And Michael's dream is a success. A great group of creative souls meeting online, live stream, once a month, with love and integrity exploring the medium of dancing online through GoToMeetings. We will be presenting our findings through this year of research at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in San Diego- October 2018. Awesome! And so- when you follow your dreams, you energetically give permission for others to follow theirs.

Friday, May 25, 2018

These are some of the artists who's work inspires me; Pina Bausch, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Martha Clark, Ann Carlson, and Simone Forti. I have had the enormous luck to have seen all of these great artists' work, live, on stage and it is an unforgettable, visceral experience.  The work and planning that went into getting to be there in person, to a seat in the audience was formidable at times. Working extra jobs, creative travel plans, waiting on lines, and waiting and waiting for the performance to feed my soul. I was never disappointed. Now I am finally making my own work and it is in this performance/theater art venue that I am once again drawn to. I am forever grateful for these artists and performances that opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My stage is the outdoors

My stage is the outdoors. It's free. It's easy access. It's inspiring. And it's my collaborator. Here is a moment in time when the "movement artists" were about to roll around on these logs ( a scene I edited out) when I looked down and found this frog. Rather than move the frog, we moved over to not disturb its rest.  As I followed our movement improvisation down the logs, my iphone camera caught one of the movers (Juliet) imitating the frog's peeking out behavior!That was a nice "aha" moment for me. Working with nature means being both site/space and time specific. Heed the moment when it's there. Soon after I filmed the scenes with the Aspen, the March weather had the hill side covered in snow, then it melted into a swamp. The swamp grew into a pond with the oncoming rains. The whole basin turned into a different environment. A family of ducks would often be seen swiming, mommy duck with lots of ducklings all in a row behind her, and, my dog would go paddling after them! Never catching any but creating quite a commotion. Well, that would have been quiet a different video.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On my evening walk, through the same area that the Secret of the Quaking Aspen was filmed, I came across this. Luckily I had my dog with me. Still I wondered if I should be concerned. Where do I belong in these woods?...Comments

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Summer Thyme's

Those friends that know me, know well that my brain is NOT hard wired for technology. I struggle to connect postings and photos on the web or even worse, get lost navigating through gmail.  So it is a miracle that this video got made. A miracle, a whole lot of time, and a very strong Will; is how my recipe reads. I share this so that others who may feel they aren’t quite qualified to tackle their own video project might know that I wasn’t prepared either.

The Movement/Art Video was shot entirely on my iphone 6+ and edited on the iphone as well. It was funny to be moving around with the phone in hand while I kept one eye on the screen and the other eye trying to look out for where I was walking. I also was videoing a structured improvisation while holding in mind the shadow I create and the angle of the sun. Being a clumsy dancer helped because I would fall and catch myself graceful and keep shooting the film. So it goes.

Finally, I arrived at the point of editing. Editing was imprecise with the iphone app, leaving me to estimate and intuitively sense the cuts; but this could be seen as an advantage. The immensely slow internet responses at my home were enough to throw me over the edge of sanity, so I grabbed my iphone and headed to Summer Thyme’s. I found a hot cup of coffee, a baked good, and a fast internet just the right combination to keep me going. Cafes, I find, are interesting spaces that offer privacy in a public setting with no interruptions.  I guess you could say that the video was conceived in nature and birthed at Summer Thyme’s Cafe

Friday, May 4, 2018

Artist Statement for The Secret of the Quaking Aspen

The inspiration for this video comes from my daily walks in nature with my large hunting dog, Perry. We head out of our back gated yard into a black oak and cedar forest, and then down a trail to the old Idaho Maryland Mine. The Mine area has lots of interesting junk left behind from the mining and logging companies, and, I invent stories as I pass these objects by, re-purposing them. A deep but small ceramic bowl lodged well into the ground bearing a thin metal cover. What might come out from that? Then there is the surrounding wilderness. I learn so much from observing nature along the trail that resonates on many layers of meaning for me. Once the trail hits the old mine all the vegetation changes into new growth Manzanitas, Pines and Scotch Brooms. Somehow, surviving all the changes is an old, tall and broken, Quaking Aspen guarding a lower region that turns into a swamp with the heavy spring rains. I believe this tree taps into the soul of the world and has understandings that are a mystery to me. I can only imagine what this Aspen has stood witness to among the madness of men. This is a judgment of mine, and I question it. I know I am interconnected to this history like it or not. Contrast this with the calls from nature to witness, sense,merge and inspire rituals. These separated parts of my psyche dialog with each other, looking for home, for belonging somewhere.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

This video,
The Secret of the Quaking Aspen, begins in Silence. Good to note so that you don't play with your volume controls and later get a blast of music. I chose silence because I wanted to give the viewer a chance to arrive at the scene. Slowing down and becoming part of the environment, needed a little bit of space and time.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

My video project for Belonging with Ruth Chase

I am a movement artist, and, I made a Movement/Art/ Video piece to be shown in the exhibit, Belonging with artist Ruth Chase. The opening is scheduled for May 2nd at Summer Thyme's. My video will open here on this Blogger on that day too. Then there will be a Grand Opening on May 20th and my video will shown in Summer Thyme's from 2-5 pm. It will be a fun party like event open to the public. Until that time, I will be blogging almost daily about the making of this piece and other fun stuff about creating a movement/ art/ video set in my back woods. This Still Photography, taken from the video, is of  movement artist/dancer Juliet Lin.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I lead an Authentic Movement Class (on hold during the summer months) at Center of Movement Studio in downtown Grass Valley. We meet on Saturdays at 9:30 to 11 am.  These classes are introductory to this form which is a traditional Dance/Movement Therapy Form. I studied Authentic Movement for many years before getting my Graduate Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from UCLA. The class, at Center of Movement, begins with a meditation and a somatic practice that gently moves us into a deep personal space. From here we explore Authentic Movement as it arises in the moment. I also incorporate writing, witnessing and sharing; all of these processes help one to enjoy their creative flow, find themselves more fully, and understand their connections with others.

Poetry n Motion Class- a Pop-up Poetry Pre Festival Event

April 21
Center of Movement Studio
107 West Main Street, Downtown Grass Valley
9:30- 11:15 am
With Lisa Barker
limited space, registration required 
$10 suggested donation