jo skates

Skating in the key of life


Energy flows as water. . .

I look forward to a much more serene week, both on and off the ice.

Today I managed to get some thoughtful skating in, tucked into the cracks of a busy day. A mostly quiet day at the rink, concentrating on keeping my body and head lined up over my skates, using my blades (rather than hips and shoulders) to create edges, and allowing each edge to come to a natural conclusion before starting another.

Rise, fall, turn, change, push. At one point I thought of this quotation:

“Energy flows as water while the spirit shines as the moon.”

Lin Hwai-Min, founder of Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, talked about this principle of tai chi as inspiring the choreography for the 1998 piece Moon Water. Some years ago I had a chance to see Cloud Gate do an earlier work, Songs of the Wanderers, and a few years later, one segment of their trilogy, Cursive. I have not had a chance to see Moon Water, but there are some video clips available, such as this one.

The music is from Bach’s Cello Suite #1: the “Sarabande,” played by the great cellist Mischa Maisky (at “a very slow tempo,” comments my son). (As in my earlier post, I’ve been trying to keep as much Bach in my life as possible.) As you can see, the movement is influenced by modern dance, traditional Chinese dance, and martial arts as well as tai chi.

What a gift it is to see (or hear or feel) something so beautiful that it makes you gasp.