The past years have been so packed with school, work, major family events, and stuff stuff stuff. In many ways, I can't remember a time that it wasn't like this. But now, it's a moment after graduating... MFA, check, and post-tenure with (the beautiful dance family) David Dorfman Dance, check. I get to sit and think. I get to say things like "I'm gonna play with my thoughts" and then I do. Mixed in there is, of course, the annual wtf am I doing, exacerbated by having space to feel the aftershock rather than running [clinging] to the next commitment. But, I think. I imagine. I prepare for the Magenta project, by (re)imagining the ideas I began, but didn't get to the pit of, and the desires I have yet to try. There soon will be a moment of getting to experiment, until then it is thinking and preparing the best I can.
In the studio, experiments or jumping-off points quickly spark new directions and/or unravel into something magic, weird, or dead. What happens in the studio rarely looks like what I thought it would. Usually, this means that what I have imagined is more sensorial- a feeling, a swell, a sensation- rather than a concise idea that I can turn into physical material. Good thing there is practice and experimenting - practice at experimenting too. The sensation is almost always richer and more alive than the description of the sensation, and when I notice that a particular part of a dance works sometimes works and doesn't at other times, it tells me that I haven't identified what that part/movement is doing. For example, does it work because of a somatic detail? Does it trip-up because the coordination is too familiar? Is it the timing of this moment with the previous moment? Is it performative? How? Carving these details into phsyical form and then sculpting them into such live-performance that allows each detail to seem inevitable is nothing short of alchemical; a concise recipe of movement, sensorium, language, image, imagination, and that stuff (that kind of buzzing sometimes warm, electric, slipping, falling stuff) that sits in the chest and is always hard to name, pry open or understand.
And this is just the dance itself.
Beyond imagining the dance, preparations for the dance to happen are sketched through applications for grants and residencies and/or conversations about the possibilities to perform, show, collaborate... and all of this too can feel only imagined. A limbo of waiting. Which comes first making the dance or having a performance commitment? Sometimes, I'm really not sure.