Excerpt: FOOD: the restaurant

In 1971 Carol Gooden, with Gordon Matta-Clark and others, opens Food at the corner of Prince and Wooster Street in SoHo, New York.  The restaurant is a gathering place....On Sundays, menus are designed by artists.  Sometimes there is a whole meal of only shrimp.  When it's my turn, we eat with our hands.  (Chapter 4, p. 126)


MEMORY: Cafe Bustelo

Richard Nonas had a loft around the corner from Food Restaurant.  I remember that yellow can of Cafe Bustelo coffee .  It was always nestled on a shelf in Richard's kitchen.  It maybe the place I first tasted the deep bitter espresso and to fall in love with it.   Deep influences all around me from this time.  Watching FOOD, the film about the restaurant by Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Frank, I see Richard and so many of the people that created the constellation I inhabited.

           FOOD restaurant  in Soho, New York City.  1971

           FOOD restaurant  in Soho, New York City.  1971

Cafe Bustelo.jpg


CHAPTER 3, page 60.

It's time to introduce Parallel Corridor Maps of Space.  In the mind's eye, see parallel corridors going from one wall to the other.  Three people stand against one wall. Each one in is a Corridor.  Take an exploratory walk to the end of the Corridor, turn, and come back.  Use the Five Moves ~ Standing, Walking, Turning, Arm Gestures, and Crawling.  Call Begin.  Use Peripheral Seeing, seeing from the corners of the eyes, one of the Five Eye Practices.  Locate gestures from the other two and join them into your movement stream.

Corridor Map practice during Naropa class.  1111 Pearl Street Studio.  Boulder, 1977


excerpt from Ch. 7, P. 195

Books have a regal lineage, full of power.  I notice words and wonder where they come from.  I turn them over in my mind and feel their magic, how they shape incantations and recount stories of being human.  What books do I like? someone asks.  There is that page with the fly in Zen Mind Beginner's Mind and John Cage's book Silence,  and how it provides cool refreshment after those dry books of my college days.

              Cover, April 2015  Design: Joan Anderson

              Cover, April 2015  Design: Joan Anderson


excerpt from Practice in Chapter 5

Solo practice is deep and necessary. Solos bring the inner world into this very
and connect us to our expressive longing. We find depth in Solos on
those edges where intuition emerges in a structure. Doing Solos strengthens participation with the ensemble.

The first Scores are simple because the less we do the more space there is to find
that intuitive edge. When inner and outer come together, we are right here, right
now, in all its wonder. Then Solos become  simple dances for elegant souls.

Southern Room Over the River , Naropa, 1111 Pearl St., 1980

Southern Room Over the River, Naropa, 1111 Pearl St., 1980

Three parts of the Bow

excerpt from Chapter 2 Practices ~ First Class

desolate/delight ensemble, Naropa U. MFA, spring 2010 Photo: Alex Miles Younger


Introduce the Bow.  It is a contemplative practice for beginnings and endings that has spread far and wide.  Share your experiences of bowing.  Describe the three parts first then guide a Bow.

Hold       Catch the moving mind/moving body and hold everything still for the briefest of moments.

 Feel       Feel your inner being and then expand awareness out toward others and the room.

 Give       Palms of hands resting against thighs, elbows slightly outward, bow forward from the top of the head, bowing to one another and to the space. Rising up with eyes open and soft, there is an almost invisible smile emerging. We have arrived.


Sit in a circle.  Then turn around with your back to the center.  When you are ready to join (and it is an important awareness, to be willing to join), turn around and face the center. Now Bow together.

1968-1974 NYC:Neighborhood of Minds

WONDER DANCES, MoMing/Chicago,1974 Swinging light bulb on end of gold cord creating dancing shadows on the ceiling.

excerpt from Memoir, Chapter 4, part 2

One night at Max’s Kansas City, a favorite ‘watering hole’ near Union Square, she climbs on a table to argue and laugh with Robert Smithson, the brilliant sculptor who makes giant earth-works like Spiral Jetty. Dancers, actors, musicians, painters, sculptors court one another and those daredevil muses. In and around these serious, outrageous, innovative friends, her dancing changes.  The same clothes she puts on in the morning are what she performs in that night. At SoHo gallery openings of exhibits, she recognizes almost everyone.  In this art ecosystem everyone is in each other’s peripheral vision. Steve Paxton,  dance comrade, calls it ‘a neighborhood of minds’…”lives entwined in so many ways, so many scenes, company and comfort through 60s and 70s in a neighborhood of the minds. Seemingly wherever we went, there we were.”  She begins making ’work.’

Compositional Eye

Red Square rehearsal, Fall 2014, photo: Regan Halas

excerpt from Practices, Chapter Six

Compositional Eye has three parts: Inner Eye, Ensemble Eye and Audience Eye. We compose in our living all the time.

We bring disparate images floating around in our mind into focus.

We arrange objects on top of a dresser,

place food just so on a plate for our guest, adjust flowers in a vase.

Here’s a Score for a daily life composition:

Get up. Brew coffee.

Meditate and stretch.


Write about dancing life for book project.

Make phone calls and pay bills.

Doodle about class this afternoon.

Gaze out the window.

Deposit check before class.

Improv/Comp class ~ 2 hours.

Market on the way home.

Supper and a movie.


Miriam with Allies, desolate/delight project, 2009

excerpt from Chapter Six, Practice, Red Square

When students are comfortable with these practices  and with their ensemble and with using everything they already know, we start to work with Allies, objects that have so much imagination to share. Bring objects to class; props, costumes, lights, text, musical instruments. They participate with us.  They  become members of the ensemble.


Infant Eye

from desolate/delight project, Naropa University, 2011

excerpt from Chapter 4.2, Practices, Five Eye Practice

As babies we saw the world without having names for what we saw. Let a soft gaze roam around in the space without naming. Let the eyes lead the head as it turns on the spine. Look at the ceiling, walls, floor. Stay slow and relaxed. It’s clunky at first. Return to Closed Eyes to rest. Move from Lying Down to Sitting and back to Lying Down.