Barista Chakra #1

By Liz Brent


Awhile back in Augusta Moore’s Feldenkrais class, she had us envision our chakras from root to crown. While following this instruction, I suddenly had a spark of an idea to create a series of drawings showing chakras inside people doing their everyday, ordinary thing.

I held back on drawing this series for a long time because I felt like I didn’t know enough about chakras. And I’m still a total novice on the concept of chakras; I don’t claim to be able to see them or understand them perfectly, but the idea has helped me understand my body and my energy flow better. And when I told her about the idea, Augusta told me to just go for it: draw this series by following my intuition and imagination.

Now you may be thinking, “That’s very nice, but this is Stance On Dance, shouldn’t this be a drawing of a dancer?”

And I’m with you! I wondered too why I was inclined to draw a barista first instead of a dancer. Well, I’m a dancer and for a year and a half, I also worked as a barista. While my life’s path has not led me to either dancing professionally or continuing being a barista, my experience with both feels present. Learning the discipline of dance changed my life and affects me today physically, mentally, and emotionally. Similarly, the experience working as a barista left an impression on me.

The idea for this series came from Feldenkrais, a class that bridges dance and everyday life. Somatic training is for anyone. And as an artist particularly inclined to drawing the active human body, I often worry that I am drawing ideal bodies and not real bodies. Maybe I drew a barista first as an experiment in drawing a person creating extraordinary latte art, but in a job that many people consider ordinary.

My underlying inkling is this: people do what they consider their ordinary thing, but how can anything be ordinary, when we consider the extraordinary universe of our bodies? What we do every day with our bodies affects us deeply and stays with us for a long time.

Anyway, don’t worry, I’ll keep going with this series and there will be dancers in it.


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