Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding light in shadow

Recently, a student asked me of working with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers - how has the process changed you? Honestly, I looked at her, smiled, and shook my head. "Wow! That's a loaded question and not one that I was prepared to answer, but this is it. This feeling of vulnerability is real and in this moment, I'm going to share that this is challenging for me to talk about. I'm still processing and growing and changing and being in the middle of it is dark and murky and sometimes scary because I don't know what I'm going to find, but you asked and your question is honest and so deserves an honest answer, complete in words and feelings. This process has particularly changed my acceptance of my shadows. I've learned that my shadows are just not shortcomings or challenges or things about which I am embarrassed. They are still all of those things, but I do not need to be burdened by them. I'm learning that in order that in order to more fully experience the light - the happy, beautiful, exciting, wonderful things about life, I need to acknowledge my shadows. Once I can fully experience my shadow, I have a deeper range with which I can experience light.

I've also come to recognize and be more comfortable with the continuum of light and shadow - the range from light to dark. Life isn't black and white. You can't experience the shadows without the perspective of the light... I'm sure there's more... but that's where I am right now."

Recently, Terry Gross from NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Director Alexander Payne. One of my favorite moments from that interview follows:

"You see... she has very ready access to emotion. And that's what... the great actors have. And that's why life is often so difficult for them because they can't keep their emotions tamped down, as like... you and I can. So then if you put an oil pump on that spurting oil well of emotion, then you can be a professional actor..."
"... there's a way in which, I've observed that actors and directors envy each other. I think a director envies an actor's ready access to emotion and how beautiful that is. And I think actors can envy directors dealing more clinically with emotions, ordering them about dispassionately..." ~Payne

Check out the full interview here: Terry Gross interviews Alexander Payne

Below are a few interviews of the process of Be/Longing from myself and some of the other artists of KYL/D. We're having another Open Dialogue this Saturday, March 8th from 4-5pm at CHI MAC. Come see some of the process for yourself!

"This process has been helpful to me in acknowledging the shadow, and accepting the shadow, and moving with the shadow to better appreciate the light." ~JCWK

"It's made me more aware of my shadow... like last season I had this issue where I couldn't get anything right, and it was really hard for me and there were a lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs... but this season I've learned to let go of those issues and know that I'm dancing for me." ~Brandi Ou

"The part I find most interesting is the "Be". One of my favorite things about working with Kun-Yang... is that it's about being, being honest, being in the moment and being truthful with that." ~Vuthy Ou

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