Wow. Even after a couple rehearsals under our belts, I still find myself saying, “I can’t believe I’m doing this again.” I haven’t danced like this in a long time. A really long time. It has been almost two years since I graduated, and since then—aside from a few technique classes with my undergrad dance group—I was hardly ever in the studio anymore. Anytime that I would come back to the barre, I would just leave the studio disappointed by how much I lost and wasn’t able to do anymore. I was starting to come to terms with the fact that dance wasn’t the major part of my life as it once was—that I could pop into a class whenever I had time, but that was it. Then I heard about this project.
After seeing the FB event for the audition, I couldn’t stop thinking about this opportunity. Despite my desire to do it, I was still debating whether I should go to the audition even half an hour before it started. Once I was there, however, I couldn’t get over how amazing it felt to move again. For the first time in awhile, I felt exhilarated when I left the studio.
Every rehearsal so far has been a similar roller coaster of emotions. Each time I walk up the steps of BRL, I am a bundle of nerves, anticipating that there will be a number of things that I will struggle to be able to do. At the start of warm-up, I feel shaky and off balance, my hips feel so constricted and unable to turn out, and my feet feel like blocks of wood, unable to point. Slowly, however, all these anxieties start to fade away. I begin to feel more and more comfortable and I fall back in love with moving.
I feel incredibly grateful to watch and learn from Ruthie, Amanda, Michael, and this process. I initially didn’t put much thought into what it takes to recreate a piece that hasn’t been done in over forty years. But I am astounded by all the work that they have been doing: studying blurry and silent videos of the choreography, dissecting the musical score, and so much more. It has made me think a lot about how dance is preserved and translated over years—especially with the work that has come from some of the greats like Paul Taylor. Ruthie is full of wisdom and has so many stories about working first-hand with some of the most influential dancers: Paul Taylor, of course, but also Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and so many more. I am trying to soak in everything that they have to share with us.
In addition to reintroducing my body to movement and dancing, I feel like I am gaining so much more. I look forward to what is to come in the next few months as we delve deeper into this project. It just feels so good to be moving again.