Matthew Rushing’s presence has sparked conversations of beauty, pain, suffering, and community. For the first semester of rehearsals there was not one Saturday I did not tear up. The studio, bodies, voices, and energy of the dancers and creators around me was so overwhelming because of the beauty that surrounded me. Beauty to me, after our conversations, is when a void in your heart, mind, and/or spirit is filled.
Each rehearsal was beautiful; a void in my spirit was filled that I didn’t even know needed filling. At the first rehearsal Matthew Rushing told us he was honored to be working with us and then fellow dancers began to sing with their gorgeous sound bouncing off the walls of the studio. Suddenly the tears came, and I couldn’t hold them back. It seemed as if my entire dance career thus far had all been building up to this moment, something I did not realize until cheeks were wet. With more rehearsals came more tears; the songs, movement, seeing my fellow dancers’ tremendous performances were all creating a large ball of energy that sustained me throughout the week until our next rehearsal.
Now we have returned from the long break, the phrases we have learned are about to be formed into a dance. Renee has been preparing our bodies to be able to harness the energy of the room and project it out to the audience. Matthew and Renee have been beautiful for me. They have filled my spirit with sustaining energy. Their intentions and instructions have made me a better dancer, but more importantly a more aware human being. I am conscious of my body in the space in relation to those around me and of the energy I am releasing into my surroundings that is ultimately picked up by my peers. I imagine BRL is radiating such an intense energy during our rehearsals that the city, for at least two hours, is also able to feel a similar type of beauty that I am able to witness. I’m looking forward to seeing what an incredible and powerful piece will be produced in April, and what energy we as performers will be able to send out to the audience.