Friday, June 12, 2009

transmission #2

Mika is Junhong's tap teacher. She is a small Japanese woman with a big voice. She inspires and terrorises the boys to dance like there's no tomorrow. She gives them choreography that wins them medals and makes them feel like the coolest boys in the lower mainland.

Yesterday was the rehearsal for the school's year-end show: an epic organisational wonder that involves more than a hundred kids and some adults, all run by Mika aided by a few assistants and a whistle.

While the boys were being made to run their piece to perfection on stage, amidst the noise and clamour of waiting parents and kids, Mika paused to turn around to the parents and noisy children and said:

THE THEATRE IS LIKE CHURCH FOR DANCERS. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO DANCE WHEN NOBODY IS WATCHING? IT IS LIKE A HEARTBREAK. PLEASE RESPECT THE DANCERS AND PAY ATTENTION

I felt my own heart break and fell in love with her even more.

alignment

The last two mornings, I discovered the joy of feeling my heart break and heal simultaneously. I walk around now with the bits of blood and cardiac muscle tissue of another's embedded in my heart, bits of mine in his.

Monday, June 8, 2009

joy

photo by Jason

desire

Lately, in my classes, I have dared to use the word desire more often, proposing that we find movement by adjusting to our needs as well as our desires. This inevitably leads one to ask: what is my desire? For myself, I have been substituting the word dance for desire quite a lot this year, driving myself to an existentialist distraction in the process.

In Victoria recently, while discussing desire in class, Ken Gordon observed that sometimes, in order to move towards our desires, we need to feel that we deserve them. Substitute the word dance for desire once again, and you get a whammy of an epiphany.

Again, I am reminded that it is as difficult to receive as it is to give. Both actions require alignment.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

in-between #4

Anis wrote to me after my symposium: "You embody the classic mirages of feminist, pluralist-locutionist, affirmative Asian-Canadian artist but with the added advantage of being a multicultural self from before you set yourself up in Vancouver - mirages in the sense it is there but not there, being betwixt, hence constantly crossing the liminal and non-liminal. You are a global artist."

liminal |ˈlimənl|
adjective technical
1 of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2 occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

I have spent my life living the liminal, finding my liquid self as I yield, flow around and occasionally smash up against other people's certitudes and fears.

Lately, I have been wanting my own country.
Ironically, I seem to find it in hotel rooms.

photo by Jason

theology according to Junhong and Max

Max was over for a sleepover with Junhong.
Coming as he does from a family less heathen than ours, Max took a moment before dinner to say grace, making the sign of the cross as he did so.
Junhong asked what it meant, the sign of the cross.
Max explained that each point corresponded to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
What about the Devil? asked Junhong.
Oh, said Max, that's the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

patience

Watching "I don't Want To Sleep Alone" by Tsai Ming Liang and "Flower In The Pocket" by Liew Seng Tat, I was struck by the patience inherent in each film.
I am trying to find that as a performer.
I discover, however, that there is a fine line between patience and insistence.
Or between patience and unconsciousness.

beauty, love and other pleasures