Live from the inside

Hanya Holm, a major choreographer of modern dance and Broadway musicals. She died in 1992 in Manhattan. In her later years, she gave an interview that contains some spectacular insights from the world of the performing arts for seekers and professionals connected with the arts. But its lessons hold a wider import because the search for self-revelation is no different among artists. Consider these excerpts:

"Finding something is the greatest thing that can happen to you. If you are searching you will make new discoveries, but searching is not easy. You cannot help facing movement blocks that will stand in your way. No one can remove these blocks except you yourself, and only when you are able to remove them will you eventually discover yourself. This is the only way you can improve and grow into something big".

"Don't swallow everything hook, line and sinker. Absorb! React! There is not such a thing as "the" gospel."

"Your enemies are not those about you in the studio, but your own imperfections. You can't fight yourself if you run away and refuse to see yourself."

"Watch little children when they hear some music. They throw themselves around and onto the floor and jump up again. They don't get hurt. They don't care. They enjoy it. They fall down a second time and roll over and laugh it off. You should be able to do the same thing but you kill it with fear. They have no fear. Art is living. It is not just craftsmanship; it is the flow of love. There is that meeting place of the body and the soul and the spirit that gives you control."

"When you have discovered that inner self, you can call yourself a dancer, but don't get snooty about it. If you put that inner man on a scale, it wouldn't weigh more than a hundredth of an ounce. The more you know, the humbler you become, if you really know it. This is growing, studying, living. Dance is life. Know that you are alive".

There are a lot of insights in these beautiful lines. Competition is not outside you but inside you. It is necessary to beat oneself to reach full potential. Self-mastery is not a place to go to but a place to come from.

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