We’re seeing RED!!
Please join us to celebrate and support Dishman + Co.’s newest dance work…
Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door:
Please join us to celebrate and support Dishman + Co.’s newest dance work…
With every new project, I enter willingly (at first) into a kind of existential Jekyll and Hyde–I’m at once so driven and buoyed by the process of creation, and utterly mystified and ground down by it. The time, the energy, the money it takes. The constant coming up against my limitations. Going down roads less traveled, many times only to find out the good reasons nobody goes that way.
A few years ago I almost gave up. My creativity felt like a paper airplane, asymmetric and awkwardly thrown, and I was on the brink of deciding to set a match to it all, hoping to stir from the ashes a more domesticated Phoenix. I love caring for my children and my home, and I could do it so much better if I found a way to put the kibosh on these flights of fancy.
A little background: I am stubborn about my creative ambitions. Really stubborn. And naive. Like, why wouldn’t things work out exactly as I’ve envisioned? These qualities have been the two blinders I’ve needed to help me run toward my dancing goals with a 20-year hope and almost pathological stamina. This may sound admirable, but I actually feel kind of silly about this part of myself, and very aware of how difficult it makes life for me and those close to me. It’s not all that surprising to feel like giving up in this industry/city, but for me it was a dramatically new feeling when fatigue and common sense began to loosen the blinders and for the first time plausibly suggest that it would be OK to step off this particular racetrack. Um, now I’m a horse instead of an airplane/bird I guess. Anyway…
That day…I remember it so clearly…I looked quitting in the eye and for the first time began to study its features, tentatively enamored by a restful beauty I had never before given myself permission to see. I sat there considering for probably one whole minute (which for me was forever), staring at the blurry outline of all that life could be for me without dance, and seriously asked if this was it, if this was the time to choose a new kind of life. And then the weirdest thing happened. I don’t even know how to put it into words, but something deep inside me reared up and said no. I actually experienced a physical sensation, an upward thrust causing my slumped spine to uncurl a bit, making room in my lungs for a deeper breath. No. Not yet. Keep going. I laughed, or sighed–one short, sardonic burst–and rolled my eyes. Grateful, resigned, I refitted the blinders and kept going.
So, here I am again in a new project. Chasing down new ideas, new forms, new physical experiences, new aesthetic convictions, and with them un(?)expected blocks and challenges and things that keep me up at night. I’ve started drinking coffee. The option to quit, to let go, is still there I know. Like a patient new friend waiting to tell me her name when I’m ready to listen. But not just yet.
As I continue on this journey, I am more and more appreciative of dance as a way of processing in community the beauty and complexity of life. Dance invites us to step beyond the verbal and digital for a moment, to re-root in the life of the body and to unite in something real as a body of viewers. Dance speaks in its wordless way, sliding under, rushing over or soaking through verbal constructions to help us see and feel more deeply, and revel more fully in our shared humanity. Dance strengthens us to wrestle with life’s conundrums and provides a healing force when words are not enough. I’m leaning heavily on this in what seems like a particularly difficult phase of widespread distress around the world, which we’re all grappling with in our own unique ways. Choreography has become for me both teacher and voice as I join the dialogue, drawing people to engage together with the tremendous jumble of life.
I LOVE going to this place…a huge warehouse in no-name Queens. You trudge through several dismal hallways and turn a corner to find–gasp–THOUSANDS of weird and useful and useless things, all waiting for some artist or teacher to see their fabulous potential. Next time I go I’ll take more pictures, but this time around I was focused on…
Rolls and rolls of amazing textures, colors, patterns, weights. How many dresses was I inspired to make after running my hands over all this weave? So good.
Here’s my cohort, Rebecka, helping me lug out possibilities with an ever hopeful “you’re either going to love this or hate it…”
And how could I get away without snapping up some shots of these beauties? Thank you, MFTA.
Alright. I’m astonished at how difficult this naming game has become. I’d love it if that means this piece is complex, nuanced, too rich to slap any old name on it. That would be great. Also, this is a dance–its very identity resists words. I know, I could leave it untitled. But names are important and I’m still searching for one…
|fold, unfold||rhapsody/fold||we fold again|
|faltenstanza||faltenfold||a repeated fold|
|rhapsody fold||Fold Rhapsody||series in the fold|
|rhapsody in a fold||Yoke||Scenes in a recurring fold|
|folded rhapsody||rhapsody for a repeated fold||Fold: Rhapsody for a small space||Faltentanz||Faltentanz: dances for a small space|
Since about April I’ve had this growing Google spreadsheet called “Untitled Project” accumulating sheets about budget, music, props sets and costumes, grant proposals, sections of the dance and several other facets of the new production I’m working on. Here’s a portion of one sheet called “Title Ideas”:
|Under the sun||Dropcloth||fold, unfold||the fold, fold||Tent Fold|
|Turn, turn, turn||dropcloth/fold||fold, the fold||Fold/Forme|
|Fold, in a fold||envelope||Fixed Fold||Fold Cycle|
|Roundel||Ply||Ambit / Fold||Room||Fold Series|
|Rondel||in a fold||Stanzas for a fold||Fold circumference||Series in the fold|
|Rondeau||Cloth/Fold||Stanzas in a fold||folds of a remembered garment||Round in the fold|
|der Reigen||Fold on the bias||Arias in a fold||Interfacing||Life in a fold|
|Roundelay||Bodice||Pendulum/Fold||Dances in a fold|
|cloak, unveiling, reveil||Mantle||Drop/ped Cloth||the inside surface at the top of a room||Ceiling in a fold|
|Did you mean revel reveal revile re veal re-veal ravel rivel||Returning||entredeux||Veiling||fold in the fray|
|19 arias for a small space||Folio||Vellum||Enveil||A series of returning folds|
|D. S. al Coda||Lamina||Pane||Did you mean unveil||A series of folds|
|Ritornello||Returning||un veil un-veil anvil evil envied envies|
It’s dizzying, right? Tell me about it. I’m finding it so difficult to give this piece a name…to summarize it in a few words, to give the viewer just enough and not too much, to find something spacious but not vacuous, snug but not a cage.
Many times I come to a new work with a title already in mind, or at least a good first draft. But this time I resisted looking for a title because I wanted to give the work more room to grow in a nameless way, unburdened by its own definition for as long as it needed. Well it’s time to print postcards, so…
Many of you know that a main theme I’ve been working with from the beginning is cycle. At last week’s rehearsal we showed a portion of the piece to our composer, Angelo, and for the first time I was able to see its identity more clearly emerge. Yes, we’re dancing about cycle, in cycles, in repeating poetic forms, but there’s more…there’s a sense of overhead weight (literal and figurative), and an attention to texture and material that I now see as equally prominent. So, my initial title “Turn, turn, turn” isn’t quite the one. And you can see the winding path to what I maybe think might possibly could be this work’s name.
I think I’m settling on A series of folds. For now. We’ll see what this week brings…