NDT 1 workshops in budo martial arts

In the beginning of March 2022, NDT 1 was given a six-day-long workshop by sensei Akira Hino in budo martial arts (‘budo’ means Japanese). Working with Hino was in line with our goals within the ‘shared platform’ program in the NDTLab – where space is created for research and experiment.  It was a unique experience for both parties. “The room got quiet and the air in the room got denser as the dancers worked on their own bodies in such a precise, sensitive manner.”

PHOTOS BY YUKO TAKEDA

Artistic director Emily Molnar, who joined the dancers in the workshop, says it was an honour to have Hino working with the company, “It was a gift for us to work with the remarkable Japanese martial artist Akira Hino. Hino’s teachings have awakened a new perspective on the human body and movement and offered a world of possibilities that connect us to a deeper sense of presence and purpose in our practice. The week-long workshop in the Hino Method is part of our initiative to  support the learning and development of new tools and research for the members of the company.”

Yuko Takeda translated for Hino and the dancers during the workshop and wrote a few blogs about the experience on their website. “His [Hino’s] method and his way of teaching have been transpiring transformative bodily dialogue between him and the dancers. It is an inspiring thing to witness.”

During the workshops, Hino not only taught the dancer through movements but also held several Q&A in which they spoke about believing and finding joy in your own ability, clear intention, and generating a real connection on stage. Hino also shared his own life stories in which the dancers were very interested.

Hino-sensei paused for a second and told [the dancers] that there were two ways of practicing. One is to practice because you are a professional dancer, and you practice for the profession. The other one is that you practice because it is your own body; You practice because you are curious about your own body and how it can develop. The latter way is bound to be personal and means a lot more emotionally.

Yuko Takeda

    The physical exercises were all about feeling the body, connecting different links, and being aware. To give an example, on the fifth day, the workshop featured the ‘palm-to-palm exercise’. The dancers were given the instructions to pair up in two’s, stand in front of each other with one leg forward and one back, and lay the palm of one hand on the palm of the person in front of them. Now, the dancer with the hand on the bottom moved their hand in circles, the person on top followed this movement. “While the movement is happening, the physical contact point between the palms remains the same”, Yuko wrote.  “It’s as if you’re locking the lines of palm with the other person’s”, Hino explained, “You listen to your partner actively with your palm.” The exercise has to be a two-way connection that includes sending clear intention, receiving, and following.

    The exercises were simple in terms of movement but requires such focus and sensitivity to monitor the subtle changes of the body and how it organizes itself to execute a certain movement. The room got quiet and the air in the room got denser as the dancers worked on their own bodies in such a precise, sensitive manner.

    Yuko Takeda