Dr. Martina Young shows the art of poetics through dance

The Santa Monica College dance department received a treat with an experimental dance presentation given by Dr. Martina Young last Thursday. Young, who holds a Masters as well as a PHD in Mythological Studies, was there to show the art of poetics of the body in the form of dance.  Many students looking for extra credit, as well as those interested in dance observed or took to the floor to get the full experience.

The performance started out with what looked like yoga, just without mats. It was followed by various acting exercises.  Words were given to evoke thought in the students followed by a pose or act that they interpreted to best represent this word.  Examples were used such as: Waterfall, Ancestry, Fast, and Memory with interesting, and different, interpretations for each.

Requesting the dancers to concentrate, Young directed the dancers in slow and steady movements.  Even hair flipping was deemed too distracting in this exercise in which the dancers were requested to wear hair ties.

"Anything that disrupts you from your task, disrupts you from your work," said Young.

The dancers were later divided into groups and given a paper with a written expression they were to convey through a short dance skit. Phrases like ‘Practice the way of being with the world and inhabit being with other beings' were said to challenge each dancer individually.

Many of the students were able to form a short dance number within their group in an allotted 20-minute time frame.

Sophomore dance major Aubrhe Yruretagoyena felt very moved by her group's performance.  Calling it difficult at first, Yruretagoyena went on to express that coming together as a group within a short time was more natural than she expected.

"When you try not to figure it out; that's when it's born.  It was meant to be," said Yruretagoyena.

Dr. Young's main premise is that humans make connections and meanings from their perceptions. What might seem like a challenge at first will make sense and become rewarding at the end.