恭喜新年快樂!!! Happy Lunar New Year!!!

May you find strength in letting go of attachments, surrendering to the Universe, and going with the flow. 
May you see below the surface. 
May you remain grounded in that which sustains you. 
May you walk with integrity and clarity with your visions and values. 
May you clearly hold sacred space for each moment. 
May you stop often, notice the beauty of all the little things that you'd otherwise run by, marvel at this gift of life, and give thanks. 
May you personalize your wardrobe, decorate your house, speak your mind, dance on the roof, and be authentically you. 
May you open your arms, raise your head up to the sky, lift up your chest, laugh, and howl at the Moon rising behind the clouds. 
May you enjoy all the magic and beauty that this life has to offer as we walk together into the fresh and glowing unlimited potential of this bright new year that our ancestors have been talking about for such a long time. 
Welcome, 2012. 
May you walk in beauty. 


turned on women

photo courtesy of Efan Hsieh, and little old camera! 

National Taiwan University of the Arts- after Thursday night contact improvisation dance jam- hanging on trees, eating chia-coconut-orange-hemp-peanut-yum and admiring cloudy moon, laughing loudly and raucously, and then playing with sparkling firecrackers- reliving childhood in the Motherland of Taiwan with my non-blood-but-very-heart-sister! 


dancing on Earth and Air

just completed my final dance performance for this school term
has been my first time auditing so many college level courses... i have been a full-time part-time audit-student for 3 dance classes, 2 anatomy classes, and a spattering of other classes here and there 
did homework and completed my finals just like the normal students 
and today was my final dance final 
in which we had to choose four lines of a Baudelaire poem
commit it to memory 
choose a fitting piece of music below 3 minutes to choreograph and dance to 
and then perform in front of the class 

after the performance, i am all shaky
my breathing is shaky, my heart is shaky, and my whole body is visibly trembling 
i have moved in more ways than one 
i feel like i have never before trembled this violently on a stage environment 
the anxiety comes from loving my teacher so much 
i really love and respect teacher Wu, this has been my favorite out of ALL of my classes these past four months (i love it even more than my acupuncture class!), and i wholeheartedly want to do justice to teacher Wu's teachings, my body's capacity, and Baudelaire's poetry 
the funny thing about performance (and art) is that there is no way to gage "did i do a good job" or not 
(so yes, art school was sort of a joke) 
a great art exhibition may get many visitors (or not) 
a fabulous dance performance may get long and loud applause 
or it may be in front of the bathroom mirror 
it can be a whole series of undefinitions 
art cannot be boxed or defined 

dancing alone at home feels very different than dancing in front of my class 
it's been four months 
i haven't personally spoken with everyone in class (about 50 students in here), 
but we have all danced together, witnessed each other dancing and breathing,
and there are a handful of people that i dance, share jokes, and smile with on a weekly basis 
comfortable with each other enough that when it's not dance-class time, i will wonder how they are
but not comfortable enough to give each other hugs when we parted ways today and... i am heading to india (and then, onward!), i don't know when i will return to taiwan, i've really enjoyed dancing with you, i am really grateful for your laughter, openness, and bright eyes, i hope you do wonderful things in this world, i know you will... maybe i should just shove aside awkward social norms, and give you a hug 
too late 
chance has passed 
my final final is over 

before dance, trembling
running over my poem infinite times in my head, my body tense, jerking, sweating through my toes onto the foreign wooden classroom floor (we switched to a different classroom today, and i am not familiar with this wooden floor or the echoes it exudes) 
it always happens like this: 
i like too many things 
i had a list of infinite possibilities for songs 
narrowed it down to 6 songs 
then narrowed it down again to 3 songs 
and now for the past week i have been seesawing between this-or-that-or which song, which perfect song for my heartfilled dance? 
i finally decided on a song this afternoon... half an hour before class begins 

before deciding on the song, choreography is rather impossible 
i just keep my music player cycling through all my possible songs, 
and dance to all of them 
cycling the poem over and over through my body and mind 
trying out new ways of expression with different music
different ways of moving my body infused with "black sea and sky" and "hearts filled with rays of light," etc 
grooving to different rhythms 
then getting bored and frustrated with the poem and the same songs cycled over and over 
and back to "pop" music (frowned upon, for our dance performance!), 
and shaking and grooving my body without any trace of poem left in my mind, 
just mindlessly jumping and shaking to the likes of eminem, hang-drum percussive melodies, and other artists whose names i cannot remember, but their music runs like rebellious fire through my veins, making me waver between wearing all black and wearing the brightest colors i can pull out of my closet, mindless hip and spine gyrations punctuated with knife-like waterfall flower like movements that suddenly drop off some random steep cliff of nowhere and leave me crawling, rolling, and twisting around on the floor like amoeba 

dance performance today
teacher encourages us to move from the spine 
move in ways that allow us to dance with the utmost manifestations of expression
our body speaking louder than words ever could 
while at the same time speaking or singing as clearly (while dancing!) 
that it leaves zero questions in the audience's mind as to 
"wow, she sure can express" 
"i completely understand what is going on here" 
while leaving room for imagination, 
a dancing on all levels 

i want my audience to catch their breath and lose their own heartbeat when they watch me dance 
i want them to get so caught up in the rhythm of my undulating spine and flailing limbs that they forget that their own body is tense with excitement, focused on my dance 
i want to inspire all these other students in class 
to forget about anxiety 
sink into the music
forget everything we learned in class 
and just surrender to all there is in this moment:
(and for this performance... that poem i've been repeating to myself everywhere like a madwoman! getting caught in the poem's tumultuous expressions/ emotions in the subway, biking across town, eating dinner, laughing with friends... this poem has not left my mind for about a month now) 

and it all came together tonight 

i want to share these feelings because today felt simply incredible 
before the performance, while i am trying so hard to create something amazing to share... 
it's actually quite stressful 
and then i layout the bones of my performance 
and the rest is improvisation 
most of it is improvisation, borne of all my endless hours of dancing to song after song, set loose on a sea of rhythm and melody 

i shouted and spat Baudelaire while twisting, jumping, crawling, rolling
i looked my audience in the eye, growled, and howled Baudelaire into the echoing wooden room 
i watched all of the mirrors reflecting my powerful body dressed in black and white 
my heart on top of all the black and white, visible with every trembling movement
dancing on Earth
dancing on Air 
conscious of nothing else but rhythm, poetry, my body, and endless flow of breath and blood pounding through my body
and then, 
the final heaves of my song as i slide onto the Earth, proclaiming the final strains of my Baudelaire poem (i have made it mine, now): 

let us plunge to the depths of the unknown 
to find something 


happy new year!

Jiling on Seven Star Mountain Peak for 2011 New Year, and 2012 New Year as well! (First time in the same place for two New Years in a row!)

基玲站在七星山上, 2011 和 2012 新年!