• Erika Tsimbrovsky

Experiencing Horizontal

Updated: May 3


photo by Said Atabekov


score: Experiencing Horizontal

(human beings are usually thought of as vertical beings)

Go outside

  • Lie down and experience a horizontal (20-30 minutes)

  • Be a layer of the earth (while falling into sky)

  • Possible actions in horizontal: stillness, observing, listening, considering movement, being nothing, being everything, being in-between or among, practicing being slow,, crawling & rolling (if cold)

Return and write (10 minutes or more) with/about remnants or traces of what happened inside you

OR write with the feeling of what happened that remains in your body

OR write as a non-human, non-vertical thinking

OR write about the way that what happens being horizontal yields other ways of being than the human

ET writing response

Be a layer of the earth (while falling into sky)

Being a material among other materials between earth and sky, I don’t try to think; I use no words while thinking. I am lying, I am breathing, I am grounded. I'm thinking with everything, thinking with the world? I am lying, I am grounded, I am breathing. At some moments, I feel like I am a part of the whole among the dirt, soil, grass. The smell of the grass… the fresh, sharp, and bitter smell of the grass, the slowness of heavy joints, even the small turn of shoulder blade is a gigantic movement for me at this moment. Each tiny little move is perceived as heavy and oversized. Wind, birds, bees, different voices, one chorus, there is no lead actor. Rain starts, drops fall from the sky, sky thinks, sky cries, sky drops on face’s skin. I’m touching eyeball a tiny moment before the rain. I am part of the grass… this awkwardness of being part of the community. I am trying to stretch out arms into the sky. Weird, I can’t open myself to that movement, but flocking birds pull arms. I'm dancing with them. Bending fingers feels pleasurable; these movements are favorite today.

I think about the awkwardness of those little moves, about the uncertainty of how much to do. I lie in the middle of the surrounding community under the gaze of unknown neighbors. Do they see me? Am I weird? Why is it so difficult, almost impossible, to straighten arms toward the sky? Why am I thinking about this? I put face into the grass, into the soil, I smell it, the smell is cold. I’m lying on belly and thinking about Pina Bausch’s ‘Rite of Spring,’ suddenly all gestures become erotic.

A second before the rain started, I thought about the passion of creative rush. Something about this flame is bothering me? I dislike to be loud or fussy. I dislike that I explained the score with this nervous artistic rush. But rain flooded this flame. Artistic rush is a hero complex, artist-hero syndrome I have no more :)

Navel breathed with the earth, I thought through navel, the land gave me the air. The grounded sky-spirit enters the body.

From Archive:


Some of my performances and experiences were part of the series Experiencing Horizontal.


Movement-Object: Spinning with blanket (performative moment from Red Wind dance installation)

I am sensing the gravitational force while spinning with a heavy blanket. The blanket is part of me; the blanket is an extension of me; the blanket is an independent force. When we (I and the blanket) spin together, I feel that it is a movement-object. I become part of both worlds—the world of alive and the world of dead. Spinning with the blanket creates a confusion—where’s alive and where’s dead. What does it mean to be a part of the world? Do I support the heavy blanket, or does the blanket supports me? I feel a serendipitous unity with this object while spinning with it during the performance at Della in November 2019.


Excerpt from a response to Caro Novelo’s health activism performance lab:

… Lastly, I had a bodily engagement with somebody else’s object. It was an old pink sneaker. I spent some time thinking about the possible owner of the shoe, questioning his decision to bring it to the lab. I remember how this shoe became no-entity, just a material for a dance poem. I immersed in the sustainable poetry of the new relationship with the material/shoe. The banal old shoe of an unknown person illuminated the blurred borders between life and performance. The shoe became an entity in its own rights, which essence could be revealed only in the process of unity with my body and vice versa. I spin shoe around my finger while pressing the shoe to the floor, simultaneously turning my body pushing the floor with my feet. While being in this repetitive cycling action with sue around invisible dote, I was sure that nothing existed in this world; nothing had true meaning but this spinning. These are patterns of non-definable spiritual something—the shoe was transformed into something alive, and we were the whole.



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