Style is habit, and a habit is NOT who you are. In constraining style, we evolve. I was conflicted about this at first, but I discovered that eliminating mannerism provided an opportunity to rise above the illusory self I take for granted, and see the outline of something more expansive and inclusive.
We identify with aspects of ourselves by habit more often than by choice. This is an over-identification, an addiction to a way of being. It is a comfort zone. Even when it is something we dislike about ourselves, we can hide behind the shield of “authenticity”. We are so obsessed with being authentic, that we end up inauthentic. By insisting on being the way we think we are, we are unable to be who we really can be.
I can’t afford to be caught up in how I imagine I am, in pretending to be myself pretending to be myself. So I have decided that my movement practice is a space where style is not permitted, where I aim for the essence and to eliminate all manifestations of style.
This aspect of silencing a false self isn’t about hating my self… it’s because I love that I am, and I want to discover myself. How can I know who I am, if I take for granted that these mannerisms are who I am? I am not what I first saw when I first saw myself. How much of me remains hidden behind the veil, because I refused to look a bit further? Well, this is my process for looking further.
Unexpectedly, this “self”-effacement has only elevated and refined the applications of my “style”. When I let the djinn possess me, when I join in the aether of ecstasis and become the vessel…
But wasn’t that obvious? If manifestations of style are actually forms of possession… if genius comes from genie, and music comes the muse, if all forms of expression comes from the external… Shouldn’t the ability to empty the vessel, to allow for more inhabitation, result in a higher form, a more complex and nuanced and fulfilling form of “expression”?