Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Are we Human or are we Dancers?

Strange song, but it made me laugh the first time I heard it.

I'm working on several projects right now. After one rehearsal, I received a note from one of my dancers, along the lines of, "Jess, I'm sorry. I feel like I wasn't able to be present in rehearsal today. (She was, and she did everything that I asked. We tried a few things, made some mistakes, made adjustments. It's part of the rehearsal process). I have a lot going on and some of the stuff you're digging into really hits home. I'd like it not to effect me, but it is. So, I wanted to apologize."

To which I responded along the lines of, "Dear Dancer, Thank you for being honest. Thank you for being vulnerable in the process. If you're really in it, it is going to gnaw at your heartspace. And you're not going to be able to be in the mindspace of leaving everything at the door because I'm asking you to bring yourself into the studio. I'm asking you to be present in the yuckiness of whatever you're feeling. Our emotional bodies effect our physical bodies and that's what I'm interested in exploring."

The conversation continued with ideas of perfectionism and professionalism. In my opinion, we need to be fully human to be fully dancers and artists. We need to be able to access all of our energies, fully, no matter how exciting, happy, or uncomfortable. We need to feel safe in the studio space to be uncomfortable.

So, we can't be dancers if we're not human, first. But ultimately, we're dancers.

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