Saturday, April 22, 2006

danced everywhere

My day of dance yesterday began with Dance Anywhere:

Eric led us in a structured improvisation, structure being: dancers stand in stillness on each street corner…one person covers the other person's eyes and the couple could begin to move together…roles can shift, between who’s eyes were covered or not, but someone's eyes need always be closed…dancers can make transitions to another street corner.

At some point, some of us just got the urge to move, even if alone and eyes open. Hey, it's just a structure right?!

After that, rehearsals for Anicca began with a celebration for our Maestro.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you........
PROFESSOR Eric Kupers.

Eric was just hired this week for a tenure track position at Cal State University East Bay/Hayward for a full time position. (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!) There is no one more deserving of this positon. Eric is an amazing dancer, and gifted choreographer, and I can tell you from personal experience, a genius as a teacher. He's extremely attentive to each individual person he works with and somehow seems to give them whatever guidance they need to expand into their fullness. As a person....and I do not throw this phrase around lightly (I think I've only said this about someone 3 or 4 times in my life): He has one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. This man is pure love, personified.

What’s important to note, is that the CSU dance department has never had a tenure track position. Even more amazing, is that although they interviewed for one position, they ended up hiring two (Nina Haft). Seeing the arts being supported and cultivated in this way in the Bay Area makes me get goosebumps. This news feels extremely magical to me.


Rehearsal itself was interesting.

While I was there, I felt pretty scattered and ungrounded. One of the dancers has difficulty finding daycare for her 6-year old. She often arrives late or leaves early, which is distracting enough....and she often brings her son with her. If he's not being his adorably distracting cute self, then he is actually walking in and amongst us while we are working (killing dinosaurs with his sword), or he is watching cartoons and we are dancing to the soundtrack from LoonyTunes.

Now, I don't have huge problem with tuning stuff out....I have an 8-year old boy in my home, remember (but most of the company does not have kids, and tuning children out when neccessary is a skill one develops with time and exposure). I think most of us dancers are getting a wee bit distracted by this kid's presence, and I think when you put all of our wee moments of distraction together, it snowballs because we are dancing and exchanging eneregy. The energetic snowball o' tension gets bigger.

Most days I don't care too much. I don't even mind sitting out a segment to do a little babysitting so that the other dancers can have a small chunk of quiet time (although it never realllly gets totally quiet). It kind of trips me out that the mom isn't understanding the impact it is having. Well, maybe she understands and is just trying to ignore it. I dunno. My parenting style is a bit different. You will never hear me say that children are to be seen and not heard....EVER. But that's why I get a babysitter when I need one.

Yesterday I felt the need to stay focused because I had the Axis Orientation coming up after rehearsal...and the whole dynamic that was being generated during rehearsal was pretty ungrounding to me.

I left rehearsal and got to Oakland for the Axis meeting sat in my car with my thermos of herbal tea and my journal, and I was fine in no time flat. Once I cleared away the snowballed distracted energy stuff, I understood that the rest of me had a really good rehearsal. I'm feeling so good about the work we are doing.

It feels to me like the piece is still being birthed, which is one of my favorite parts of the process. Considerring how many weeks we have left before show time, it feels to me like this is a little bit late to be birthing we should be more in the deepening and polishing stage at this point. We have several sections that are basically "done" but they aren't strung together yet....the transitions haven't been worked out. But it feels like several pieces are still being created, too. The interesting thing for me, is that normally, if I was still "birthing" this close to performance time, I would be stressed about it. I am totally not sweating it (maybe because I'm not the director!). But seriously...I trust Eric's genius so much, that I have no doubt in my mind that he will fit the pieces together, and that it will be a profound piece of work. I'm having no problem just kind of hanging out and watching his version of orchestrating things. I just try to pay attention, follow instructions, sink into the emotional quality of the work, and do my best manifest his vision.

So back to sitting in the car....once I was able to let go of peeling tangerines and having to read Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the corner....I was able to really enjoy the happiness I am feeling about working with Dandelion. In fact, during the course of the evening chatting with the people I knew at the Axis event, I was describing what we're up to, describing my excitement about working with Dandelion and the watching the piece unfold, and people commented that I looked really lit up and happy. Gooooood.

I'd like to tell you about the Axis thing...but I've just run out of time.

The bumped the call time from 1230 up to 1130, so I need to use this last hour to get my sheeeeit together. If I'm not totally trashed tonight, I'll try to write later.

I'll leave you with some of the affirmations I've been giving myself since last night:

I am a focused.
I am capable.
I am creative.
I can follow instructions.
I can break all the rules.
I can take risks.
If I am dancing with someone who I'm not connecting with, I can use that lack of connection as dance fodder.
If I am dancing with someone I am connecting with, I can allow myself go deep with it.

I am a dancer.


Sara said...

I love the first picture. There are you and "rainbow girl" clearly getting your groove on, and then off to the side a young woman (teenager, perhaps?) appears totally oblivious as she prepares to step out of frame.

Just another day in Northern California...people dancing in the street, nothing unusual... Oh, how I miss it. :)

Great to see you out there, living the life.