Sunday, September 23, 2012

envy and longing

I have been thinking about envy - one of the seven deadly sins and a constant fixture in any artist's career. Envy is not an interesting feeling to encounter in an artistic process, however, either in the rehearsal or in the performance.

I look up the meaning of envy on my computer's dictionary and it says:

a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck .

Aha! Longing! Envy is a longing. And we know from a few posts ago, that longing is connected to being static. Thus, envy is static. It leads to a self-regarding loop that collapses in on itself. Nothing beautiful can come out of it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Talking, Thinking, Dancing

I recruited Justine into my (more or less) monthly forums, The Talking, Thinking, Dancing Body. To publicize it, I wasted no time in pimping us both. Everything is performance and as another dancer recently said, my body is public.

photos by Josh Hite

(If you want to join us, you can find more details here.)

By coincidence, Andreas Kahre, editor of the Dance Central called and wanted to talk about talking. To read it, go here.

Then, yesterday, I chanced upon this blogpost from Marten Spangberg on The Future of Dance.

We have a party!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

archiving: thoughts

I must admit, I have always had a cavalier attitude to archiving. I thought, if your body doesn't remember it, it doesn't deserve to be remembered. I find the idea of remounts and the notion of "legacy" difficult to reconcile with the beauty of impermanence that is inherent in dance.

But this archiving exercise (sometimes seemingly futile in the face of unreliable technology - harddrives crash almost as quickly as you can put stuff on them) has made me realize that time is an important lens through which to observe oneself, one's work.

I recently watched myself dance in the 2005 premiere of [storm], a version that I had been dismissive of, a version that had merely been, in my eyes, a stopgap measure while I waited to make the Holy Grail of an all-male version (a version that would take another 2 years to make). I watched it again and this time, vision unclouded by longing,  thought to myself, "Damn, that was good dancing".

Sunday, September 9, 2012

archiving: [storm]

We, at battery opera, have been archiving all summer, looking at and cataloguing stuff from the past 20 years. Amid the embarrassments and humiliations, there are moments of wonder.

This morning, I watched [storm] all the way through. It was the last collaboration with David, and remains my favourite of all our collaborations. I think this is because the road to it was filled with spectacular failures and humiliations, starting with Wake! in 1999, our very first work as company-in-residence at the Cultch, made amid the post-partum stress of our newborn child, old father-son relationships revisited through a brand new unknown father-son relationship. I have a memory of David, at the theatre before the show, calling me, at home with the child sucking on my breast, telling me that there were only 10 people in the audience. I think we broke the Cultch's all-time record for the lowest audience numbers.

Then there was Cyclops in 2003, which was another attempt to grapple with that father-son relationship, and as winner of the Alcan Award, with all eyes on it (more than 10! more than 10!), could only fail.

Finally in 2005, we made [storm] with all the heartbreaks and humiliations in both process and content. In there, distilled into a fiery, raw spirit, was still the story of fathers and sons. But this time, the darkness of old stories abated by the gentler, joyous and hopeful story of David and Junhong.

15 years to make a piece!

Do you know
how hard it is to move
with two broken legs
two broken arms
and a broken collarbone?
A broken heart?
But it's okay.
Bones heal.
Hearts heal.