Thursday, February 4, 2010

A shadowy, human-shaped hallway.

My first proper show since Pablo was born. Luckily I was too tired to get exceedingly nervous -- will people be comparing my dancing, my body, my ideas to pre-baby times? Am I delusional in my sense that my body is looser and psychically more open now that baby is here? and the classic: am I delusional in trying to be a dancer in the first place. My husband is extremely tired of this last question. It is the evil twin of the good question that keeps one honest as a dancer: Why am I doing this? But not asked in a desperate or cynical tone, instead from the standpoint of curiosity. Why am I doing this? Why does this dance need to exist? Why do I need to dance it?

After reading a lot of Einstein and Bergson in the last couple of years I am of the opinion that not much exists on this planet that does not have need to be there. Nature is very economical and practical in its creativity. Man pushes towards excess and production.

So I stepped on stage in the post-partum era. I walked as a strange creature into a downpool of light and tried to submerge into the world of black floor and light pools. For 9 minutes I forgot I was Pablo's mummie. Well, almost. Those things flicker around in the back of my brain even if I don't sense them consciously.

At the end of the piece, back in that downpool, lying on the floor staring up into the source of the light, my hands on my belly, I felt the flickering, lingering presence of baby. There he is, little bits of his energy still, like lightning bugs in my belly. Scar tissue taking flight, sparking. There he is!

Before the show opened, I felt confident in a new wildness and abandon...I watch the video from this show -- always dangerous -- and I doubt it all. But I don't doubt that this piece needs to exist and I need to dance it. The judgement I lay down is purely stemming from years of not-so-great training and discouragement and my own timidity -- a crutch to shy away from success. It is the habit formed by a scared little girl that I've never quite been able to banish.

What rises above this? The growing sense that I am not a creator, but a vessel. A shadowy, human-shaped hallway through which ideas and emotions can slip, flinging limbs and heart in a pattern that might resemble language.

I'm sure I had more 'deep thoughts' to write here, but I am distracted by the systematic and comedic dropping of toys. Pablo reminds me not to take anything too seriously, except curiosity. He says, take curiosity very seriously.