Dance Improvisation and The Five Elements by Maré Hieronimus


Notes, Correlations, and Experiments: Dance Improvisation and The Five Elements

Maré Hieronimus/The Body Archive

Over the course of this past year, I have been facilitating a workshop which explores the movement and experience of the forces of the Five Vedic Elements through dance improvisation. Below are some of the notes and basic correlations. This is an ongoing and active body of research, and is some of the foundational investigation for my current visual and performance project, Body into Sky.

ETHER- Akash

Ether manifests the idea of connection, allowing for interchange between all material mediums, communication and self-expression.

Sensory Potential: Sound

Sense Organ: Ear

Motor Organ: Mouth-expression

Chakra: Fifth Chakra- Vishuddha- Throat

Alchemy: The field, matrix and source from which everything flows. Space continuum, the mother of the final four elements, The birth and initiation.

Qualities - expansiveness, pervasiveness, soft, light, subtle, abundant.

Action - provides room, looseness, openness

Facilitates - sound and non-resistance

Body: space- both internal and external, one-ness of matrix, interconnection, formless.

LMA Correlations: SPACE MATRIX, SPACE HARMONY, Active Stillness

AIR- Vayu

Air manifests the idea of subtle movement, manifesting ideas of direction, velocity and change, and giving the basis for thought

Sensory Potential: Touch

Sense Organ: Skin

Motor Organ: Hand-grasping

Chakra: Fourth Chakra, Anahata, Heart.

Alchemy: The idea or thought or mental activity born from the ether of space. The idea moves into manifestation through the Agni/fire. Cosmic substratum, infinite, unbounded. A continuous medium.

Qualities - mobility, dynamics, movement unimpeded, key element for fire to burn. Existence without form.weightless, mobile, cool, dry, porous and subtle

Action - motion or movement, evaporation, dryness

Facilitates - touch and vibration.

Body: the breath/wind that moves that body, empty space inside body- specifically between the joints; the skeletal system

LMA Correlations: SPACE, Effort Quality: SPACE-Direct/indirect

FIRE- Tejas or Agni

Fire manifests the idea of light, allowing for perception and movement from place to place, therefore also transformation, transmutation, change.

Sensory Potential: Sight

Sense Organ: Eyes

Motor Organ: Feet-motion

Chakra: Third- Manipura- Navel/Solar Plexus

Alchemy: The spark, impulse, heat through which the air/idea is transformed. The idea is the seed, but cannot transform without the heat, which is the key to all alchemical transformation. The power to change solids to liquids or gas and back again. Digestive power. Impulses through the nervous system- the impetus.

Qualities – Radiance, hot, sharp, dry, subtle, weightless and rough

Action - radiation of heat and light

Facilitates - form, color and temperature

Body: the digestive organs and tract, the heat/Agni that is available for digestion; blood/circulatory system and heart related.

LMA Correlations: EFFORT, Effort Quality: TIME-quick/sustained

WATER- Jala or Apa

Water manifests the idea of liquidity or flowing motion, allowing for life.

Sensory Potential: Taste

Sense Organ: Tongue

Motor Organ: Urino-Genital- emission

Chakra: Second Chakra – Swadhishthana, Sacral

Alchemy: The flowing substance, which is heated by the spark (fire), initiated by the idea (air), born from the ether field. This is pre- solidified. The water is needed to assist the fire from burning itself out- so in this sense the water modulates the fire and creates a cooling environment through which the Agni can act without destruction. This is pre-FORM.

Qualities - moist, cool, soft, and sticky fluidity, change, flow, movement with weight. Guided or defined by earth, Cohesion

Attribute - cohesion, lubrication

Facilitates - fluidity and taste (via saliva)

Body: all fluids of the body (70 percent) including seat, tears, craniosacral, synovial, sexual, and the lymphatic system.

LMA Correlations: SHAPE, Effort Quality: FLOW- free/bound

EARTH- Prithvi

Earth manifests the idea of stability or solidity, giving resistance in action. Inertia

Sensory Potential: Smell

Sense Organs Nose

Motor Organ: Anus-elimination

Chakra: First- Muladhara, root of spine.

Alchemy: the solid form which is manifest through the thought, spark, fluidity, the last stage of bringing something into being and “physical completion”. The physical world is a manifestation of this last stage. This is FORM.

Qualities - stability, permanence, rigidity, density, heavy, rough, solid, stable, slow.

Attribute - resistance, densityFacilitates - fragrance, odor and shape

Body: The muscles, connective tissues and density of the body. Muscle, bones, teeth, tissues. As Air creates bones and fire creates blood and Water creates Lymph, all are manifest through the Earth, which brings the energy into matter.

LMA Correlations: BODY, Effort Quality: WEIGHT- light/strong, weight sensing

Every substance in the world is made up of these elements, with certain elements predominant.