Sunday, November 21, 2010

falling leaves...

Chris worked extensively on the music the weekend that I was in Arizona for the National Dance Educator's Organization Conference. The conference was incredibly inspiring and Arizona was beautiful! I loved being able to sit outside in a tank top and read by a pool, knowing that back in Philly, I would soon be wearing gloves and a scarf.

I received the music and plugged it into the car as I traveled up and down the interstates that following week. While I was away, the leaves of the trees began to change and the intensity of the colors struck me dramatically upon return.

As I synced Chris's work with the video of rehearsal, the movement and sound instantly took me back to the moments on the highway. Reflecting on the changing of the leaves, I began to appreciate how the trees and the leaves joyfully announced their death and their change. In our culture, we do not proclaim our deaths grandly, like the leaves. It was almost as if the leaves were/are celebrating a change. Almost as if they know that they will return - or that some essence of them will return - and when they leave, they will continue to contribute to the betterment of their environment. There is no mourning. There is no sadness. There is a brilliant announcement of change. A brilliant announcement of things that were and things to come. A beautiful explosion of color and excitement that disappears just as quickly.

The dance studio at West Chester sits a top a hill, next to a bountiful forest. The week that I made the connection between the season, the movement, and the music, the trees at the University were screaming in reds and oranges and yellows and greens. I tried to capture that moment with my cell phone, but in doing so, I immediately realized that I would fail. Yes, my phone does not have a great camera, but I would be unable to box up that moment. And that moment would last for me only that day. By the following week, the trees had lost many of their leaves.

And so, in response to the call of the forest, I need to let go of those things which box me in. I needed to let go of those things to which I try to box. In response to the leaves, I need to continue to journey into the moments after the fall.

This is a scary, but exciting process. One filled with a hopefulness for things to come.

I saw each of my dancers in Chris's music. He has a way of being able to bring an individual's energy to life. Through the work of my dancers, the work of Chris, and the piece itself, it is my hope that whatever process started within us will continue.

Thank you.

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