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Rehearsing for a live performance…Using marbles as a bodily supplement and the spine’s ability to arc and undulate to create a dance dependent on bodily awareness and the sense of touch.

The cold marbles rolling on my skin reminded me of stone massages and stones skipping across water. Each tiny movement of vertebrate propel the whole strand of glass orbs, like a ripple effect in a pond. I folded my head down and the marbles in the crevice of my neck roll up the back of my skull, navigating through my hair by gravity, and over my forehead, falling to the carpet below me. They softly bounce and rest on the carpet.

I curve my tailbone under, creating a C shape with my spine and the marbles nestled in the small of my back roll off and land on my calves and carpet behind me. I hear the slight bounces. I undulate until all the marbles fall to the floor.

There is one that remains, obstinate. When I stand up it falls, surprising me. I did not feel it on my back! Perhaps my skin became impervious to the marbles’ weight? Molded to accept the last marble’s shape…

I simultaneously am and am not controlling the marbles. While my actions can be choreographed and rehearsed, if I were to try to repeat this performance, there is one in a millionth of a chance that the marbles will roll in the same ways at the same speeds in the same order.

At a microscopic level, can I physically repeat a set of movements? Is any dance performed the exact same way twice? I cannot help tiny twitches of muscles, or prevent itches, air drafts, or my body’s momentary need of oxygen intake and resulting inhales, expansions of ribcage. I cannot control the way my hair flops and swishes with my head’s turning.

What am I really controlling?

Maybe I will try choreographed breathing.