dance, dance, dance!

I have an upcoming show. I am choreographing a piece about daydreams. I have been thinking about this piece for about a year now, and have been working on it since last June. I am ready, but nervous. This is my first big piece since graduating, and for some reason it feels vulnerable to be presenting work out of the umbrella of a university student.

I have five amazing dancers that are so fun to work with. I think I have said i am seriously going to pee my pants and really meant it about 50 times. Quick blurb about each of my wonderful dancers:

Laja is pure unflinching and unforgiving physicality. She can also learn an entire solo and perform the hell out of it in about 45 minutes.

Nell has a quiet strength and natural grace that is both spellbinding and intoxicating. She is like a breath of fresh air.

Amy' s technique is clear and pristine, yet her performance quality is subtle and layered. I make her shake her hips a lot in this piece, and I would like to think that she secretly loves it, but it is very quite possible that she completely hates it. The truth is hidden in one of those many layers.

Anne has impossibly long arms and legs, she reminds me of a daddy long leg spider. With her lanky limbs she makes the most mundane movements look innovative and interesting. She dances with a slight awkwardness that is both endearing and strikingly beautiful.

What can I say about Efren? When he dances I feel something all the way to my bones. He is able to leave ego out, and channel whatever is asking to be channeled. I find myself often feeling smug when I watch him dance in this work, like 'wow! I'm really a talented choreographer!' And then I realize that it is him, not me. But whatever, I'm open to taking the credit.

This is the first piece that I attempt humor. Lisha, one of my peers, always had the most wacky hilarious works. Her work made me laugh for three years, so maybe some of her effortless way at humor rubbed off on me. I love to laugh, and after Clint pointed this out to me a couple of years ago, I now realize that I am often the loudest laughter in any particular group. I probably would have realized this earlier on in my life, but all I couldn't hear because I was laughing too loud.

This piece is called The Promise of a Daydream. I got really into daydreams after Zachary was born. All of a sudden my whole life was consumed with another little being, who happened to be very unpredictable. Having a child is the most wonderful thing in the world, but it does take some adjusting (or mild brainwashing) to realize the beauty of your new life.The thing that really helped me with this adjustment was going on daily runs with the jogging stroller. In highschool, before I discovered how much fun dance was, I was a runner. In fact, looking back, I was pretty fast. I mean not to brag or anything, but my best mile was 5:23. I don't think I will be seeing that time again.

At the moment my running has tapered off, by for awhile those runs where an everyday staple. I didn't run at any one particular time of the day (I've learned that I am incapable of a schedule), but would usually know when it was time. It was time when Z was unsoothable and I was unstable. Often the situation felt so intense and urgent that I would run out the door with little prep. I have gone on runs in nursing bras, cargo pants, and flimsy shoes that where clearly not made for running. Now that I am a well-seasoned mother I would let the child scream for five minutes while I put on a sports bra and some stretchy pants, but at the time I viewed every meltdown as a personal insult of my ability to mother.

I loved these runs because they were my time to daydream. I love daydreaming because it doesn't have to be about important things; it has no agenda. I would imagine fitting back into my favorite jeans, eating a Chipotle burrito, having a funny conversation with my husband, taking Z to soccer games one day, doing a hip hop dance in the middle of Costco and everyone loving it..........

I also love the start stop structure of daydreams. You are in class thinking about swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, and then you cue into the teacher to hear a bit about idealized Greek bodies, and then you are back to imagining making out with the slightly weird guy with big hair that sits in front of you.

I've grown into thinking that every daydream is a courageous act of hope; it is a mini declaration that although life can be a big piece of poop, things could get better.

Maybe my piece has a little bit of all that in it.

The other night I went to see Pina, which is a documentary about the amazing German choreographer Pina Bausch, with some dancer friends. The show didn't start until 9:25, which is usually about the time that I am suckering Clint into turning out my light by calling him in for a goodnight kiss. Not that I don't want the kiss, but sometimes that light on the bed stand just seems soo far away........
Every morning I am up early to teach pilates or care for a toddler that has not yet mastered the art of sleeping in, so staying out until 11:30 is kindof a big deal. It's one of those things that you know you will dearly pay for the next day, and just hope for mercy from someone, anyone. Seriously, anyone out there?

The movie was amazing. Everyone should see it. I feel in love more and more as the film progressed and even though I was so tired and had to go to the bathroom near the end, I stayed glued in my seat, worried that I would miss something really really important. The theater only had about 10 people in it, and probably half of them got up to leave before it was finished. I couldn't believe it.....were they watching the same things that I was watching?!! I guess great art is not universal to all.
My only complaint is that I wish I wouldn't have watched this film so close to my own show. When you see the work of a true master that just got it it is hard to then look at your own work without be overly critical. I do feel like I have some natural talent as a choreographer, love to create, and carry the hope that one day I could create something with as much depth, clarity, and mystery as Pina did...........but am also real to the fact that it could take a bit more experience. And maybe it would also take a nationally funded company, and an endless supply of resources to get there............

A couple of years ago I was half watching the Oscars and Miley Cyrus was being interviewed. She had just finished filming some melo-dramatic teenage movie (forgot the name) and made this comment (that only a naive 16 year old could make) that just maybe next year she would be here with a nomination. Because you know, the role that she played was really real and raw. The interviewer just looked at her and half smiled.
Well, Miley, if you are out there, I'm sorry you didn't get that Oscar nod you were hoping for, but lets say we both keep at it. Because who knows, maybe one day it will really happen.