S is for Spine

| May 5, 2014

As Ingold thoroughly conveys, our very bodies are comprised of lines, the most fundamental of which being the spine. It forms the central axis from which we move and balance, and the midline of the skeletal structure which supports our organs, muscles, and nervous systems.

In figure drawing, a pose begins with the spine, and the way in which a figure’s weight distributes in relation to it. All other elements, such as the positioning of limbs, the drapery of clothing, etc. similarly orient themselves around the spine, adding layers upon layers until the image is complete:

Likewise, in contact improvisation–a form of freestyle dance centering around one point of physical connection, either with a partner, the floor, or one’s own body, the spine is often either a point of contact or the hub around which movement takes place.

Whether in visual representation or kinesthetic expression, all experience stems from, and works in relation to, this simple internal line. Without the structure it provides, we cannot survive, much less create.