Friday, September 11, 2009

First time in the studio with baby Pablo




Listening to Arvo Part -- music I meditated to while pregnant, music I had hoped to play (to remind myself to breathe!) while giving birth, music that could not be played while I was giving birth because everything happened so fast. Sitting on the floor of the studio stretching after dancing/warming up for half an hour. Pablo begins stretching as the music plays. He has been sleeping since we arrived.

Focusing on his sleeping body liberates me while improvising. My body is loose, except my lower back and laterally in my pelvis (muscles over-worked during the delivery), disassembled, wriggling, eager. My ego slips away. I am watching the baby on the floor sleeping while I am dancing. I realize I need to turn the camera on in the corner and just let it go for the whole time. Something new is happening. The mirror doesn't exist, the ego, which sometimes directs my improvisations to things that feel good and I know I can do well, is absent or perhaps watching the baby too.

Pablo wakes up and freaks out a little, not knowing where he is, so we waltz around the room to "Spiegel im Spiegel" -- he laughs and smiles, especially when we do the formal waltz turns over and over again. He's having fun and I'm remembering a bit of footwork for a show Theatre Rusticle will be remounting later this season. He rather likes the Alvin Ailey poster on the wall with it's red-orange background and black silhouetted figure.

I realize bringing Pablo here is important, it forces me to ease off of precision in QUANTITATIVE terms. We may arrive at 1:30pm but what happens in the 2 hours of studio time I've booked must be loosely structured. I must be prepared to be here for 3 hours if I want to dance for 2. I need to stop being so controlled, stop scheduling myself so tightly, enjoy the details that emerge when I don't feel the need to "dance like Lucy".

To find precision in QUALITATIVE terms...I care suddenly less about going to daily technique class (which I never do and always feel guilty about). I am willing to relinquish that dream I never really chased. I am happy with Moksha yoga and studio time. I am old enough to enjoy my idiosyncracies, to develop them into a craft, rather than feel them as a liability, something which has emerged because I don't go to a symmetrical conventional class often enough. Symmetry and convention are important for training, but now that Pablo is here I see new forms of symmetry and convention which fall outside daily contemporary technique class. I am far enough into my career to not care how idiosyncratic my dancing is. To chase THIS dream -- individualism -- to be myself, to do my tendus and plies and then explore wonderland.

My elbows and throat are fascinating today driving the movement that is coming through. My feet which have weakened a little over this summer of no ballet classes and a lot of running around literally barefoot and pregnant, are solid, happy, pliable on the floor.

I must bring Pablo with me to the studio as much as I can in these early months -- until he starts locomoting or stops enjoying his studio-floor naps and watching mummie dance in the mirror. It is an incredible thing to get to do-- to share my work with him so that maybe when he is a little older he will not be sad when I am away from him working, maybe he will understand what I do and how much his existence inspires me -- not so much thematically, but at the root of my spine, in the meaty part of my soul that sends out the order "CHARGE!!!!" How loud this voice is now. I have been a passive observer for too much of my life, avoiding sensuality of the purest kind. You can't do that anymore, not with Pablo here. "Dance like Lucy" can't be in quotation marks anymore.

In the very eloquent words of my friend Sarah Slean: Love is the reason we are here.
Hear hear.
Here here.