Spending this weekend at the Big River Dance Festival in Huntington, West Virginia has been a whirlwind of stimuli for the human and the artist inside me. The piece I presented is entitled Becoming Human and while I encourage my audience to tell me what they see in my work, this time I share what this work has meant and continues to mean to me.
In dance terminology, it is a study in dynamics, energy, connection, balance, and counter balance. The artistic idea is simple: We are never fully human until we are supporting and sharing our lives with another. Therefore, we are always 'Becoming Human' in trying to make this connection. The desire to maintain this balance is about fitting into another's world without changing them or being changed...personal authenticity. Compromise, balance, articulation, trust, and communication are all necessary, and are all prevalent in the work from my view.
I started this work over a year ago with no idea what it would or could be, and yet it has become definitive of who I am and what I want in life. During the creative process, there were challenges, and together the dancers and I have journeyed through laughing, crying, stressing, injuries, fear, lack of food, and much more in the development. Ultimately, we now share a part of each other's souls because of it.
Lately, the work has taken on new meaning in my life: Relationships that balance and challenge me appropriately, that are inventive and predictable, that provide excitement and grounding, and yet feel safe, consistent, and dependable at the same time. In our final dress rehearsal last week, I found myself to the point of tears as I witnessed the irony and beauty of the artistic representation I created in my human desires being reflected back to me. Art is amazing that it can represent what we want in life, even when we may not yet know what that is, or how to accomplish it?
And so, dear reader, I encourage you to trust your gut in seeking the life you most want. Challenge yourself appropriately, but support your decisions and choices in the process. Create space and time for life to reveal itself to you and someone or something may just show up to validate and prove to you that there are other people who share you view. Give of yourself whole heartedly, but know your value and don't compromise it ineptly. Finally, always stay humble and kind and maybe all you have dreamed of is possible if you know how to balance it with another.
As I write, Macklemore's Same Love plays in the background of the coffee shop. I hear "and I can't change. Even if I try. Even if wanted to..." and I know my path is sure, even as I build it brick by brick moving through this life. Tremendous gratitude to my two glorious 'Michael Phelps' dancers on this journey with me, and the man who so beautifully reminded me of all of the above...
Photo Credit: Mikki Schaffner