Friday, September 12, 2014

Like water for justice...

Tomorrow is the big day - sharing what we have been working on and continuing to learn -but outside of the small collective of CONTRA-TIEMPO artists I've used for this specific residency - and bring in community members, people who are interested in being in conversation with in the work.... I don't think most folks coming know quite what they are in for -but I am putting it out there - that we have a willing group of people who are open to explore and therefore leave inspired and transformed! Sat 3-5 and Sun 5-7 -come to both! 

Today I had another day of exploring, thinking, creating, watching video - Jeremiah and I worked together on a solo that felt like it physicalized moving pain, hopelessness and being blocked in - transforming this into a space where we are 'here' and recognized as being... a space where we feel in control and alive and free... It is the experience of the Caliban character - the slave, the native, the betrayed -  in someway it is like existing in two spaces simultaneously - a space where you are fighting for your life constantly and a space where you are looking upon this fight in disbelief...  finding how to smooth the edges and find your own space... the owning of yourself and your experience... some beautiful and disturbing movement came out of it -I'm excited to share it with an audience. 

Last night in thinking about the passing of September 11th, I started remembering where I was that morning - in NYC - I actually saw the second tower be hit with what looked like from my vantage point on my roof in Brooklyn - a missile. It was a scary day and I am still affected each year that passes in remembering the feeling of not knowing where my husband was - thinking he was in the subway under the towers  - not being able to contact family and the fear of possible loss - the not knowing - and then that shift in the way I saw the world after those events. It then got me remembering Katrina -that happened a few years later right around the exact same time - late August into early Sept  - and the incredible aftermath and lack of action that devastated the trust of a nation - that again for me was a major moment of growing up and realizing that things weren't always as they seemed - I got the importance of seeking out the truth in order to fight for justice... I went back and forth btw sharing this video on my blog -but in creating a work about race and water - if feels like it isn't possible to not remember Katrina - and how important it is to remember it as it actually happened...  - although posted later - this video was taken almost exactly 9 years ago today.

I share this to create a context -that I am not claiming to solve any major national, societal or world issue through this piece or through my work - all I can do is hope to touch on something that moves someone -that sparks conversation - that makes it more realistic to push back - that gives space for alternate ways of thinking and questioning. All I hope to do is create art that is in conversation with the world around me - to participate in a discourse for a more just tomorrow... that's all I want really - and dance is my medium - it is what I love to do - it is how I think about the world - in movement quality - 

Here is another few 'work videos from the week' to give a little flavor of what you might see on Sat/Sun!

                                      Isis/Jeremiah - like water for justice 

Jeremiah - we need we need 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trusting the flow...

Ahh! Today was such a pleasure - I've been in a vacuum - of my own mind, body and this vast space - grappling with these big questions:

What does it mean to make work about race? Who am I in this conversation? Where do I come from and why does it matter so much to me? What experience, privilege, oppression, opinions do I bring to the table? How is another murder of a young black man killing a piece of all of us? When does it become enough? What will it take to really 'break'?  Who are we as individuals in this ‘play’ and how do we use our character/our role to move this conversation to a new space? To a different space? Or is it about existing and being in this space - and no longer denying that this space begins?

I have been working with sabela - our sound designer - being in conversation with other folks about the work -but today I finally had the opportunity to put some of the ideas on bodies. Isis, Sarah and Jeremiah showed up at 10am and we worked straight until 3pm - moving, talking, sharing, feeling embodying struggle and fluidity - collapse and recovery - in this amazing space together. The time flew by - I could have kept working for hours! sabela sent me a track the night before that I took and connected to the movement idea I had - and it worked well - still feels very open and sparse but is moving in the right direction. I keep needing to remind myself that this is the beginning of a process and to be open. My personality is that I love to set/plan and solidify -but I am doing my best to enjoy this unknown -the exploration of it all... knowing that if I am open and accept this process - great things will continue to come. 

In thinking through how the participants on Saturday (3pm-5pm) and Sunday (5pm-7pm) will be working with us on this - I've decided it will be like a journey: we will start by the beach house and talk a bit about the piece and where we are in the process - then move them around the fountain/falling water wall where we will do a section of movement we've been working on, then into the splash pad and back to the chair installation. Then after the  'performing' element  - I will guide the participants through a participatory part - the audience will move with us - we will 'practice' then 'perform'  all as a group - then we will all move into the sand and sea room and hold a council - this council will be a space where participants can share around some of the themes/ideas we are grappling with- we will pose questions and people will share their own unique perspectives, stories and experiences. After the council if it feels appropriate (depending on the crowd we have - I know for our regular CONTRA-TIEMPO community this would be fine) we will all run to the ocean (possibly repeating some of the movement work we were doing) at the ocean for a final cleansing - completing and punctuating the experience. 

If you are planning and able to come:

- make sure you show up with comfortable clothes on 
- bring sun block/hat/sun glasses etc
- be prepared to be wet (you don't have to but you can be more free in your movement and participation if you are willing
- be ready to share yourselves, to learn something from someone else, to be fully involved in the work!  
- remember it is two hours - committing to the entire two hours will make a difference for us all. Think of it more as a workshop than a performance - there will be no passive audience members involved here! 

I will be working with Isis and Jeremiah on a duet this Wed 10-3pm so feel free if you want to stop by to check out the process - and then Friday I will continue working in the space.
Saturday we will also all be in the space at 12 noon.