I spent 20 hours in transit in the last 48 hours, traveling from our residency to London and back again. I did this in order to attend a mandatory academic meeting and to rehearse and perform in an MFA dancer’s final thesis project entitled ‘She/Her’- a project made up of four dancers that addressed themes surrounding women and agency. A pretty typical day in a life of freelance dance artist, nevertheless, it was a marathon of bodily labor that was mentally and emotionally charged, but I pushed through. Reflecting on what my mind and body has gone through in the last two days has me questioning if there is space to write in the places in between the semantic and somatic methodologies as a working dance practitioner?
In our world, there are some bodies that are valued and others that are devalued, bodies that have the agency and right to move and bodies which have not been given the space to be visible or heard. There are so many examples of women being written out of history for being the ‘wrong body’, women whose husbands, brothers, fathers or colleagues took credit or muted women’s contributions. How might the landscape of art-making change if women were allowed equal agency and support in their artistic work? What happens when conceptual beliefs about culture, gender, and ethnicity collide with real-life modern day expressions of identity and environment?
A quote by the late contemporary dance artist Chandraleka comes to mind “The drudgery of life is that everything repeats itself… to move the space with understanding, with bodies, and with imagination, is what we as dancers do”