drawing dance


            I spent some time trying to draw dancers last semester, and since the drawing dance seems relevant to Trisha’s work and our experience dancing in the art gallery, I’d like to explore this idea further. Trisha drew body parts, patterns to represent dance movements, and she even drew with her feet—a sort of dance in itself. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of drawing dance, and I seem to be in good company. Many visual artists depict dance, from Degas to Warhol.  Recently however, I’ve I started to wonder—why dance? What makes drawing dance different from drawing other things?

            Dance involves three-dimensional space, sound (even if there is no music—the sound of breath and footsteps) and passing time—things that a drawing (two-dimensional, silent, unchanging) cannot reasonably be expected to express. Yet artists try to draw dance anyway. Maybe they’re drawn by the challenge of attaining the unattainable.

            Or perhaps there is something to be gained not just from striving for the impossible (accurately drawing dance) but from simplifying the impossible into something that can be drawn. Dance overpowers us with sensory experience, but drawing dance could allow us to appreciate specific aspects of dance. Freezing the movement could emphasize a dancer’s lines or the way her muscles stand out. Drawing multiple movements at once could reveal patterns in the choreography that are harder to see in real time and space. In Trisha’s drawings, patterns of movement across the floor suddenly become clearer in drawings that look like fractals or Celtic knots. This abstracts the movement from the physical body, but simplifies it by showing the path as a line.

            One day I brought my sketchpad to our YDT rehearsal and tried to draw the dancers doing Trisha’s choreography. Any kind of dance is difficult to capture because dancers don’t usually stay still for long, but I think I had more trouble capturing Trisha’s movement than I would have with ballet, since ballet follows a vocabulary of (to me) familiar positions. I was forced to observe more closely, since I couldn’t rely on preconceived ideas of what an ideal attitude, jeté, etc. should look like. Sometimes I still tried to capture poses. Sometimes I  just let my pencil follow the dancer’s lines and movement paths without holding on to specific shapes. This gave me a page of scribbles, but maybe those scribbles were a good representation of the movement…?

            As a dancer, I have the added possibility of combining what I see with what I remember. When I brought my sketchbook to a YDT rehearsal, I drew from a combination of observation, visual memory and muscle memory. Although I couldn’t rely on my familiarity with ballet to sketch positions, if I could  imagine or remember my own body in the position of the dancer, I found her easier to draw.


end as start


Dancing to express and dancing to feel. The former is about the relationships between one and the external while the latter is about the internal relationships of which one is composed. Experiencing and experimenting with the work of Trisha Brown deepened my awareness of these two modes of dancing. Sometimes they work perfectly together. By nature of feeling one is expressing. Perhaps that is the best type of dance. Sometimes, however, when the need to express comes before one is able to adequately engage in the act of feeling there is a disconnect.

The work of Trisha Brown is meant to be felt. The beauty of it is the inherent logic of the movements. Beautiful and striking movements are begotten by an appreciation of the wonder of the body as it is. Her work centers entirely on kinesthesia. It’s honest and therefore powerful.

I started off feeling. Experiencing and wallowing in the logic and sheer naturalness of the movement. Trisha’s building videos showed her doing a similar thing. She was feeling an idea over and over, each time producing a clearer image.

I wish we had more time. I could have gone on with the feeling for much longer. Feeling without worrying about what I was expressing. The semester was short. The need to express and show came before the feeling had matured. The showing was my least favorite part of the experience. Feeling and expressing were still in the process of congealing into one powerful dance. Anxiety about expressing obstructed the process and broke the two. I wanted nothing more than to go back to feeling and allow for connection with expressing to ripen so that I could try again. The showing, however, signaled the end of the project. And it was so incredibly sad.

A heightened awareness of the duality of expressing and feeling was the most valuable aspect of this project for me. Although I did not achieve it in my own body during this work, I understood it. I know what it is supposed to feel like. I will seek this feeling for the rest of my dancing life.

Fluctuation-Driven Flocking Movement in Three Dimensions and Scale-Free Correlation.


Fluctuation-Driven Flocking Movement in Three Dimensions and Scale-Free Correlation.

(when starlings flock together, dancing through the sky- we call it a murmuration.)

I have found that a full life is contained in every performance of Trisha Brown’s pieces… An entire existence in a drop. A society in history, in a single motion. A century’s worth of time in one dance.
A murmuration blow by the evening wind.

Here is on emerging within those moments.



Once the architect told me as she traced, about time. The lines she drew into the papers were the tip of points in a room full of mirrors. She told me that when you want to know, 


Under the arc, where silently they surround you: 

Go and look for time- straight in the eye. 


                        their heads floating in dust and the bright

white stone. 


I knew that place. I had watched my refracted body in those mirrors, loose limbs- 

I had laid on the floor and turned in a circle while time looped around me – and until

everything collapsed 


into a single plane. She picked up the sheet and looked at it for a long while, I stared into the glass, in the center, as my chest heaved. Sometimes at night. 


I stare ahead. Waiting, stretching my ear until I hear it, time ticking down time, trickling down- slowly and softly.  

The cold, the hard wood, the street noises. Humming, screaming tears into me. React. React. react. react. react. only react. always react.

When. will time let me go. When will

time let me be, the evening wind in Newark. 

          The evening wind that moves murmurations



twisting and swirling 




but time                                     management 

                   behind my back,

                                                                                 is what moves me forward 

                  to be in movement.                                                                                time is moving/movement?

when will time no longer be the mover that moves me. if movement could be anywhere 

else than in time,                                                                                                                     

                        what is time? 

where is time. 


She shook her head, lips pursed. Late, to be late, lateness, delay, belated, tardiness, slow, behind, too late.  Gone. Blown. Fluttered. 

Digression. While I follow this feeling, feel I follow. This crease in the wrist. Wait for me, while I follow this crease, down into the earth, flowing through currents… wait for me while I wander here. Blown. Fluttered and delayed 

 by the evening wind that moves murmurations


A thin glass and below, heads and limbs walking down the streets, here nothing. Thousands of miles away. Intertext. Look into time as a material, a quality. Is time slow, is time fast, is time palpable, is time read in the sky or on your wrist with a tic and a tac. Time as the reminder: I hadn’t grown in her limbs and she hadn’t shaped my mind. And how I hadn’t stretched on the wooden floor of her New York apartment. Summer breeze, waxed woods, streets noises.  time paused? I longed for it, I arched my back for it, I wrote in a book for it, I stayed up at night for it, I went to her and fell on the floor always looking for it. I cried because I didn’t know where her evening wind comes from, the one that blows my arms in circles, when, it is, time, for Newark. 

The one that moves murmurations.


When I saw you I wanted to tell you, I have walked that path. My stare was a cold wind blowing. A wind so dreadful it dries all life, a sweeping gaze that fixes and solidifies. I wanted to collapse history without giving you the time, the time to walk in my steps. I wanted to show you and guide you. I wanted to tell you how it must be done. To take you by the hand and count, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1, 2, 3, 4 and trace my legs along with yours on 2, on 4 place your hands. I wanted to save you. To put you in a bed of cotton, where you couldn’t throw yourself onto the ground, break your bones, break your smile, break your breath, break the rhythm, break the pace. And leave time shattered, heaving in the architect’s laugh and a room full of mirrors. 


At its heart someone is staring right back at me. They are all, bystanders, watchers, dancers. We were in a glass dome. And where was time? But yet again that might be because we were staring at the blazing sun, and I am standing between the two of you. 


In April time, murmurations moved like a sunset, like hips rocking from side to side and feet dragging.  A sun that is stuck somewhere. The moment when a cloud drift by the midday heat. I won’t know, at what time the sun set that day. But I know when it set. I watched as they came and went, as they stood there in the same mark, not knowing that it had all started and ended a million times before them. I watched as trumpets rose to the sky and hips twitched. And the same old wind blew from their limbs to mine. It was like dominos, collapsing into each other until there was no more perspective and everything stood together, flat and exhausted by the endless repetition. I had never been there. 


It was so different to anything I know, but everything for which I had longed. Everything was light and heavy -altogether heaving. 

But we continued to watch ahead. Where museums are glass domes for time to come and die, pushed up against a wall. Relentlessly urged by that same motion in the painter’s hand, move by the same evening wind? the one that moves murmurations. Between soaking in all fleshly things and hitting against the end of history. The paint still seeps through the cloth, moving further, further gorging the clean white. 

But that time we did not see. 


Because we repeat day after day. We rehearse second after second, the grand choreography of which we were told, you can be the creator.

The architect lead me through the Dome

and Time out in the cold, blew on our faces as a huge sweeping force 

so dreadful it dried up all life,   

froze and ossified, summed up. 

leaving two little children and the names we give them.. 

Chasing the evening wind away and

 dispersing murmurations. 

Everything is collapsed. When I talk about you, when I talk about her, when I talk about him. Every step has been covered, and what will come has already been decided. I listened for time as it made its way, in its own time, in its own way. 


But past labels she brought me, 


        and showed me the hidden life of all things that succumb/ 

not to time. 







twisting and swirling 




     I saw the ink that silently continues

        to make its way, flowing 

   into the wood, fusing, shimmering, in and

         out,  spreading and curling.

             never ending always 

moving even when                                                     time lied.




The evening wind that is not slow but

heavy. The one that drags its feet and rolls on its side, inhaling at dusk.

Was rising from my soles.   When the trumpets rose.

Was rising in the Dome.   When our hips swayed  . 


Waiting for the time without realizing that all the while                   millions of birds

drenched    through     my    skin    through    my   blood   through   every    breath    of    air



    our time is hard and regular, it is dry and efficient. 

 and the name rolled in my tongue over and over.    

                                                         You live in time said Kant.        

                                               I spit right back at him. 

                                                                   Time is the basic quality of existence and how

        we exist in time is fundamental to

        understanding further existential reflections     

                                               I spit right back at him.


I left my old frame and emerged into a dome filled with mirrors    -where nothing comes to an end except time

pushed up against the window.


Free falling where there is no gravity, in the Dome where time comes to die and marble eyes revolve in circles, in thin air. That intangible moment of light stillness and intensity all at the same time.  It is the hours when the sun prepares to set. We left our valuables in the changing rooms.  I won’t know at what time the light turned that day. But I know when. It fell when the girl finally slipped her eyes shut beneath the wave. When hips twitched and feet dragged on marble. When the man held his hand out. When I lay on my side. When the mother threw her scarf back over her shoulder and when the lustful teenager turned the corn on the cob, sold it for a penny. When I was pushed up against the edge, where history ends and below, heads and limbs were walking down the streets, here nothing.  At last, thousands of miles away with the murmuration- I am blown in the evening wind. 


what  is timeless?

where time is not. 


Time, when everything collapses into a single plane. The death of perspective comes with every desperation, and it all ends the same way. Pushed up against the wall. Blood drops trickling down with paint, smothered across the canvas. 


And yet here, where time and I came to die, it is where I met the architect and her evening wind.                                                      At last I am moved by the evening wind that moves


Where all the while, pigments continued to move through the fibers. Slowly crawling, where History is blind and men are forgetters. Infinitely seeping, expanding, twisting, growing, coiling and intertwining, becoming.  


Hourglass time runs smoothly over and over again. It is that time of the day again, the horizon is sleeping with the sun today,                                                                        or is it dawn?

Everything could be white. You’re hovering in the dome of light where history is being made and time presses its limbs upon the glass, 

-let me in, it whispers.



replied the murmuration











BRL 303, space designated at stage right wing

 Naomi: It makes sense!

Aren: What makes sense…?

Naomi: The cuts, and the way they work and Newark in general!

Aren: ok…

Naomi: Well I’ve been studying proteins in biology and that’s exactly what these Newark cuts are!

Aren: oh ok…

Naomi: Well the way the edits and phrases are structured mimics the intricate protein conformations!

Aren: Right…

Naomi: It works because –



It’s all the same:

Proteins are made up of amino acids at the most elementary level.  Strung together, they make long, still very basic forms called alpha helices and beta sheets. The alpha helices wind and curve, while the beta sheets fold in a more rigid pattern.  The tertiary structure of proteins forms from the combining, intertwining, and overlapping of individual alpha helices and beta sheets to create specific conformations. The final protein is a compilation of many linked tertiary structures that together fulfill a specific task as a single unit. 


The Trisha Brown’s choreography is made up of moving shapes at the most elementary level.  Strung together, they make long, still very basic sequences called First Phrase and Cranwell.  The First Phrase travels and flies, while Cranwell is much more held and sculpted. The “edits” of Trisha Brown’s choreography form from the combining, intertwining, and overlapping of individual segments of the First Phrase and Cranwell to create specific interactions.  The final work, Newark, is a compilation of many linked edits that together express a specific concept as a single unit.  

Trisha and Bodies


What I like best about Newark, and Early Works, about Trisha’s choreography in general, is its acceptance of the body. Any body. Any size, any shape, any training. She takes strong, multidirectional bodies and equalizes them, unifies them – her choreography does not discriminate. This in some ways forces you to rediscover your own body as you learn her phrases. In Newark, it’s not the shape the body makes that produces the desired movement; it’s the directionality, the moving through space, the intention that creates the phrase (and often does result in a shape). But this approach takes a huge pressure off the body doing the moving; everyone can move, while not everyone, depending on their body, can replicate a shape. Throughout rehearsal, Irène told us to pay attention to how our personal body related to the choreography: some people need to take a bigger step here to cover the same distance, some need a wider base because they balance differently, see Geoffrey on the tapes, he places his arm here while Lance keeps his closer to the body – for Irène, it was about adjusting the movement so it fit our body, not the other way around. Which was honestly such a relief after coming from a more restrictive, shape-oriented ballet background.

In fact for me, coming from a period of not dancing, of realizing and understanding my not-ballet body and what it could do, the relief that Newark provided really allowed me to invest in the movement itself, invest in the exploration. One of the most common pitfalls in ballet is the mistaking of strength or control for containment, for keeping energy inward – young dancers forget to breathe during adagio, because they are so focused on tensing every muscle in their body. Trisha does not let you fall into that trap; her control is in the lack of control, the letting go, the freeing up of the body. Your energy is directed, it has arcs and lines through space, and you are to follow its trajectory, release it from yourself. When you free up the energy, the impetus, the springlike source, you free up your body too. In warm up, Irène would emphasize this same sort of freeing up, releasing connective tension, feeling your body in the space of the room, or in the space another created. We would bounce and shake and feel our limbs, our wrists and hips, our necks, essentially free in their joints. We got loose. And that was what Trisha’s movement required: a looseness, a willingness to lack control, a body that expelled energy, that didn’t get hung up on fitting shapes. You really did have to re-find your body, and convince it that this was something it didn’t have to worry about, this was something it could just do. It could just move, regardless of its bone structure or flexibility or foot arch. This aspect of Trisha is what allowed us to learn so deeply in the movement: it was about the looseness and the direction, not the build, of the body.

More Real than True: Grabbing Hold of the Very Slippery


            My previous blog posts have been, I think, about pretty concrete things, or at least inspired by pretty concrete things. Specifically, I’ve explored the ways in which Trisha Brown’s work is different from or similar to ballet, as well as how these differences and similarities make me feel as a dancer. Maybe it’s because I’m a scientist at heart, but a lot of talk about feelings makes me uneasy. To me, feelings have always seemed slippery and confusing and seldom substantial enough to be worth writing about.

            Well, this project encourages us to step outside our comfort zones, so in this post, I’ll attempt to tackle something even slipperier. This post isn’t just about a set of feelings that I noticed I felt. Instead, it’s about how studying Trisha Brown fundamentally changed the way I feel.

            Some of my fellow YDTers may have heard me say this, but I don’t know when I developed so much patience for art. I guess most people would say it’s a college thing. For most of my life, my only response to modern art was “I don’t get it.” In fact, not understanding it and not liking it was almost a point of pride. To me, the scientist, the universe was unfathomable enough as is. We can try to puzzle out tiny pieces of it, but zooming out to the big picture always reveals a contradiction. Even “facts” are not really true; they’re just beliefs that haven’t yet been proven false. So why, I wondered, given all this maddening uncertainty, should I accept the validity of this thing called “interpretation?” Interpretation, the very existence of which posits that some beliefs don’t have to be true or false, that sometimes proof isn’t required or even possible, and that things with no intrinsic, universal purpose somehow still matter. Interpretation, the thing humans invented to make ourselves feel better, like we can really escape the binary nature of reality and somehow gain an advantage over the universe.

            I don’t believe any of the above anymore. Something bizarre happened to me over the past semester: I get art now. “Get” is the wrong word, because I think that part of “getting” it is acknowledging that nobody can ever “get” it. Art is un-gettable. I feel that reality now, and it’s a different feeling from the one I used to feel when I said, “I don’t get it.” Maybe I’m wrong and there really are people who do get art, but what I know for sure is that it doesn’t matter if I get it; you don’t have to get it for it to be important. And how do I know that? Feelings.

            I can look at a Rothko now and be legitimately interested. Entertained, even. If I saw a milk carton on display in a gallery, I’d know in my mind that it was just a stupid milk carton, but I would still say, “Oh, that’s really neat, because it’s in a gallery.” If the me from one year ago could hear me now, she’d think I was on drugs. I know it was definitely Trisha Brown’s work that trained me to experience this new level of meaning, but I doubt I can adequately explain how it happened. My best theory is that anytime someone is focused on the same small thing for long enough, the mind gets bored, and meaning is created. You see something new, because what else are you supposed to see? We crave novelty; the mind rebels at stagnation. Calling something “art” lends us patience, gives us a reason to focus on that thing until it becomes meaningful. I hesitated to write that, because implying that anything can be art might be taken as an insult to art. But if that’s not the definition of art, what is? Art doesn’t have to be effortful or deliberate. I think that Trisha Brown’s work happens to be extremely effortful and deliberate, but that’s not what makes it art. It’s art because it can make us feel a level of fascination we logically shouldn’t feel.

            Ah, but the idea that the brain arbitrarily creates meaning seems to trivialize the whole experience of art, says the scientist in me. But again, I’m convinced it’s not trivial because it doesn’t feel trivial. It affects me, and so it affects the universe. It matters. There’s a phrase we used in my English class, “more true than real.” A cursory summary of that discussion: sometimes authors bend the rules of their own universe, creating something that’s not “real,” in order to tell us something that rings “true.” My experience with Trisha Brown has been almost the reverse of this. Trisha Brown’s work is art, and so there’s nothing “true” or “false” about it. It wasn’t there until she created it. It didn’t matter until she said it did. I’ve worried several times that the fascination I feel with it isn’t grounded in anything, that I just made it up to feel like I did something worthwhile, that it’s not true. But what I absolutely cannot deny is that it’s real. To me, it’s become powerful and significant. In a very real way, it affects how I feel in the moment. And more than that, Trisha Brown’s work has affected the way I feel in general. For that, I guess I can only offer a general, “thank you.”

To release in dance –


Working on Trisha Brown’s choreography this semester has been revelatory. As a result, I’ve become more interested in exploring the connection between the mind and the body. Earlier in the process, I often felt discouraged by my seeming inability to pick up and retain the material. I couldn’t grasp the language of this work. My brain sought to “understand” the choreography in a intellectual way. I was trying to uncover the movement journey of the pieces. So often, I felt that my brain understood the dances logically but my body couldn’t digest the flow of the dances. Part of me wishes I could restart this process right now, having realized that “understanding” Trisha Brown’s work is much more of a process than I anticipated. Understanding Trisha Brown’s work comes from continuously, routinely moving the pieces, turning off the brain after a while and trusting that the work has become a part of the body.


During the final performance I remember being incredibly aware of what I was doing, trying to think about where I was going and what the next movement was. I felt distanced from the freedom that performance can inspire. When I tried to think about what I was doing, I lost the journey of the piece. In other moments, I noticed that I was focused entirely on listening to the other dancers – their breath, their impulses, the feet across the dance floor. There was a certain release or alleviation of performance pressure in those moments. I had faith that I understood how to continue moving through the piece and that I didn’t need to intellectualize the process. I didn’t need to touch the movement, but rather allowed it to carry me. Throughout the semester, I’ve learned how much I try to control movement and thoughts during a performance. But by releasing this control, a potential for a new relationship with performance is created. Rather than controlling and perfecting, one can focus on the small messages of the body. Listening to my body, as well as the bodies of my fellow performers, uncovered a new sense of communication for me, a communication that could be the spring board for the dance itself rather than just a means to create an image or stay in time. Trisha Brown’s work is incredibly precise, yet so much of it requires the dancer to relinquish control. This is an act not often practiced in the modern day. I wish I had understood this sooner. I wish I could continue to explore this work by relinquishing control and following the movement.

Poemage to Trisha Brown


Now that our Trisha Brown adventure has wrapped up, I look at my own tumultuous period dancing her work—from being injured, to healing, to re-injury, to some healing again—and notice how my physicality has colored my experience. Below are two poems, the first from a more personal perspective as a dancer under full capacity, and the second inspired by and retracing the imagery I found dancing Newark.


Before the Rainmaker



Back to this, where I’m not

girl or robot but only another


casualty in Bolivia’s water

war. They cut off my foot


again, and a small price

to pay—they laughed. For


what? For the chance

to balance a ten-foot pole


on my head in a dance, or

not a dance, but a game—


hold on, we called, hold

on, we echoed—now move.





Tales beneath the Newark Surf



The car makes a three-point-turn while the guard

raises the flag—the tide rises high but we


toss a beach  ball to a seagull who catches

only the spraying ocean and the horseshoe crab


scuttling just ahead of his tail. Swordfish, table,

lazy Susan—what we become today, when


either a game of leapfrog or the strong wind

turning the sail threatens to capsize us, and either


way the storm spits us overboard, but we are

our own buoys, reeling into land, reviving our


salty lips with honey water before we fly a kite

that always tangles in its own tail. Put the kite


away now, Jimmy, the dog barks, staking out his

hole and chasing away his intruding tail. The dog


rolls into a slow-speed squirrel chase as if death

were no different than a sticks and hoops game. I am


napping in the sun again, on my other cheek

now, until I spot a skipper rock—but a skipping


boy announces himself king of our sandcastle,

the king, who is but a little man, racing to the tide


then backing away again—too icy for sand-scarred

toes. The sundial keeps moving past white-hot sand


so we duck from the rays, while the dolphin spins

out, flipping for a fish and disappearing underwater


where they buried me—under sand, water and myself.

Shake the sand away and back-dive—I’m holding my


breath and jumping up for air on my water

wings. Flamingoes are my favorite birds—the head


in the neck, peeking side to side and stretching

for a sneak attack to scoop a fish and stretching


to swallow him, tired from eating, the flamingo

shakes off slick water, her quick webbed foot-ball-


change. If I flew I would be as long as time, but my

knees are knobbly. Remember when they marched


in the monkeys—monkeys in propeller hats, who were

almost little men, except for their forever-long tails.

A truthful blog post


I haven’t been posting much on the blog. For a long time this semester, I felt frustrated and disconnected with the choreography. I love dance and expression, but I couldn’t find the motivation for our rehearsal process. I started to lose energy after only half of the three-hour rehearsals. I felt exasperated by repeating one movement over and over. I stood and watched the rest of the company a lot during these rehearsals because I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with my own body, what I should practice, and what I needed to listen to. I felt inadequate and unhappy, because everybody else seemed to get it. They were practicing small parts over and over and asking questions while I just swam in and out of a dance I couldn’t feel for.


I also had a hard time connecting to the movement. It seemed so arbitrary to me: why would it be important to hold my hand in this particular angle? If we moved slightly differently, the dance didn’t seem like it would be substantially changed. Why did Trisha Brown choose these movements? What made them important? I was so frustrated I nearly stopped taking part in the project. The only thing keeping me involved was that I loved Iréne and since she loved the dancing so much I knew I didn’t want to let her down and I didn’t want to give up looking for a reason for me to like it too.


I started to feel excited when we switched our focus to the Early Works for the YUAG showing. Moving my head down a stick was something I could understand. I had a goal, and I had rules. I worked until I felt comfortable with it. I liked the Spanish dance. I was excited about performing in the Art Gallery, and on the day of the performance I felt inspired by the beauty around me. I felt suddenly like I was truly part of the company, instead of the girl who didn’t have a dancer’s body, who didn’t love dance as much as she should, who didn’t work hard enough, standing in the back of the studio watching other dancers flow in Trisha Brown’s choreography.


After the YUAG showing, I started thinking about my judgment that the choreography was arbitrary. What made the steps in this more progressive style of dance more arbitrary than, say, the choreography of a ballet variation? Why did I spend so much time worrying about copying the other dancers and practicing the way they did? I already know that I learn best by watching and analyzing for a long time before placing the dance on my body. I realized I knew the dance just as well as the rest of the company. I realized nobody cared if I wasn’t the size of a ballerina. I realized I could perform the choreography from the inside out, enjoying and admiring how my limbs move and my muscles pull instead of trying to shove my body into the images I had seen of the teachers and dancers in the Newark video.


After a semester of weariness and dissatisfaction, I was most happy to find that I was proud of this performance. I have a close friend who loves modern dance, and as I danced I knew she was in the audience loving what we were doing, and I knew I connected to the dance because I connected to the other dancers and to myself. The movement finally clicked the week before the performance, and tonight as I started Cranwell with Naomi I felt wonderful and strong. 

Becoming Art


Walking around the gallery barefooted. Feeling the varying textures of the different spaces on my skin. I don’t think I have ever felt such a close connection to exhibited art. By allowing my flesh to become that of the walks and floors of the gallery I felt like art. We were all art. We were not distractions from the pieces but instead a moving installation at one and the same with the static pieces of art around us. Even the act of being spectated felt completely natural. Performing the early works in the gallery space was absolutely nothing like the jitter inducing act of performing onstage. I felt such an intimate connection with the other dancers and the space. 

The feeling of becoming one with art was most organic at the beginning when it was completely novel. By the 6th or 7th repetition of some of the early works things took on a slightly more practice performance feel. But in the beginning it was just for us. It was about feeling the artistry in the simplicity of the movements. 
The most connected I felt to other dancers was in Leaning Duets. In those weight sharing moments, my entire world narrowed to the bond between myself and the dancer next to me. Connected speaking, connecting breathing, connected leaning. It was an incredibly beautiful shared experience.
I felt a similar connection during Group Primary Accumulation. But instead of my world being narrowed to just the existence of the dancers, it felt as if we were all consumed by the art. We became embedded into the very floor of the gallery. Moving in synch. Driven and directed by the art. 

Some bits were frustrating although all seemed to just work better than we had ever experienced in the studio. It was the first time the work was adequately and completely contextualized. It was the first time everything felt natural. Part of me wishes we’d performed Newark in the gallery as well. I wonder if it would have made that piece feel as natural and as ours as the early works.