It was 7:55 PM as I entered the theatre, and all I heard was, “We have no lights. The grid is out.” With the show set to begin at 8 PM, I had to let go of the tedious hour spent the night before teching the piece and going over cues. I had to let go of this vision, for if I did not, I would be stymied in frustration, in the role of the choreographer and for the next two nights I needed to morph back into my role as a dancer. As I proceeded to go backstage and share the news with my dancers, we stretched, we rehearsed and I prayed to the dance muse, once again, to inhabit my body before I went on stage. I was tired, mentally and physically exhausted, from bringing my baby, my dance, to life. But, I was also ready. It had been in me for so long, I was ready to pop, and ready or not, out it was going to come.
At 8:10 PM, the stage manager came back stage and announced that the lights were back on. Everyone rejoiced, ecstatic that each of our visions’ would be brought to life with the added artistry of lighting. While there were some lighting cues that were forgotten, the piece, which I titled, Physical Dissent, came to life on July 8 and 9 at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtmifL2rNao.
This first draft of my piece has given me the courage to rework it, to extend it and to make it even more powerful than it is. Told in segments, it is a piece about isolation, physical and emotional struggles and tolerance. Inspired by my battle with physical injuries, the dancers represent the physical personification of my body rebelling against me and aggressively taking over my body. When the piece was over, the words, tolerance, acceptance and evolution reverberated through my mind, reminding me that this piece in itself was a journey much like the one my body has been on for the past two years. And, what a journey it was and still is, as I reflect and look to perfect this first draft of work.
So, even though the lighting cues were off, and my stomach was an insane hyperbole of emotions that evening, the show went on, and as it did, I felt that breath of relief for which I had been searching. And, it was a good, long, belly felt breath, reverberating throughout my body. This is why I dance. This is why I create. This is why I yearn for more. This breath, that leaves me gasping for more, is my sustenance. And I cannot wait to experience it all again.