Lalita is a sanskrit term translated as “the moment to moment play of things as they are” or one might say, “our available response at any given moment to the play of things as they are.” Lalita is also a performance montage of five dancers being held at the Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre on June 25 and 26.
This performance work has come from the creative matrix of choreographer Lynn Dragone (formerly Frederick). This matrix includes dance as therapy, movement choir, an eclectic array of dance techniques and a contemplative approach to the arts through Buddhist meditation practices.
Dragone taught and produced dance productions in the Kootenay region for 25 years. She opened the Moving Centre and transferred its operation to others after three years. Ten years ago she stepped away from her focus of teaching dance technique and felt the need to follow questions regarding the mind and movement of the whole human being in contrast to training the body of the dancer. A deepening of her curiosity of the subtlety of human movement and expression within the stillness of meditation and in everyday life was enhanced by taking a year of temporary ordination as a nun at Gampo Abbey on Cape Breton Island.
Upon returning the the Kootenays she has resumed a dance therapy practice along with a thirst for returning to dance as a performance art. The emphasis on philosophical and psychological questions as understood through the body has culminated in this production of Lalita. Lalita reflects these years of development and the evolution of dance performance coming from a teacher-student relationship and physical athleticism, to one being primarily motivated to find the expression and communication of the art form of dance/movement.
After ten years Dragone resumes her engagement of performing and creating dances with the attitude of an experiment. “Still feeling the need to dance as a 60 year old I also feel the need to legitimize this natural desire to be involved in dance,” she says. “I find myself dedicated to honouring the integrity of a body with real limits as well as capabilities, as I would with any dancer I work with.”
While celebrating the beauty, skill and vitality of youthful dancers in her production of Lalita, Dragone’s inspiration is to challenge the conventional norms of agism, body type and other conventional norms in dance. “My inspiration is in how the moving body opens us up and illuminates how ordinary human movement becomes dance. With skillful attention and intention to communicate truth I am interested in how performance can be a reciprocal embodied experience for both performer and audience.”