31: The End

Can’t leave this project dangling without a reflective, final, improvisation.

 

29: Hockey

In case you haven’t heard, HOCKEY IS BACK and it’s about damn time.  I missed seeing the good old flightless birds of Pittsburgh zooming around on the ice.  While I was watching the Penguins play tonight, I was admiring the athleticism and movement of the players.  It’s such a fast-paced, high energy game.  I’ve always wondered how they stay warm in such a cold place – I always feel like my muscles and joints are going to seize up if I have to dance in a cold space – but I guess they move so much that warmth doesn’t become an issue.  I also love watching plays take shape on the ice – where every one comes into position and can get the puck to the right person at the right time to materialize a goal.

Although it was an unfortunate 4-1 loss to the Islanders, watching the game gave me ideas for dance movements inspired by the way hockey players move and interact.  The ways the goalies dive for saves, puck handling, stick handling, checking, the sounds of the skates on ice, pucks on sticks, and bodies slamming into boards.  The lack of ice leaves me at a clear disadvantage, but today’s dance was inspired by hockey nevertheless.

28: Summer?

I know it’s a weird time to be working on something like this, but I’ve been wanting to choreograph a dance about summertime in the city for awhile.  Cities totally transform in the summer when it’s really hot out.  A privileged few might sequester themselves in climate-controlled buildings, but it seems to me more common that people come out of the woodwork, because their non-air conditioned apartments are unbearable.  People sit on stoops, in parks, anywhere that they might catch a breeze.  Something about the extreme heat is communal – we’re all going through it together, and it makes us all equally want to do nothing but sit there and sweat (except for those very few completely deranged runners that go running when it’s >95 degrees that no one can believe really exist).  I want to make a dance that reflects this community of laguidness, with heavy, fluid movements interspersed with periods of “I really can’t do anything more than sit here right now and try not to let any parts of my body touch any other parts of my body.”

I’ve been thinking about this dance since last summer, and back then I did some observation and pre-choreography while I walked around the city to get ideas.  Besides that, I obviously don’t have any immediate inspiration to draw from, other than the memory of summer somewhere in my cold, winterized bones.  Here’s a snippet of something I hope will become a larger work.

26: Winding down

With so few days left in January, I’m staring the potential end of this project in the face.  Will I keep going after this Thursday?  What have I learned from this experience?  What am I most satisfied with?  Dissatisfied?  I don’t have answers to a lot of the questions that are swirling in my mind, but there’s no time to think about them when you have to race against the clock to create a dance before the day ends, like this one.

 

25: Sucking the Marrow out of Life

This quote was shared with me recently.  I think I have heard it before, and but this time, it really struck a chord.  One of the reasons I’m doing this dance project is because I feel like I spend an awful lot of time doing things that don’t matter that much (“liv[ing] what is not life”) and not as much time on the things that really do matter (“liv[ing] deeply and suck[ing] all the marrow out of life”).  So, here’s to living deliberately, sucking out all that marrow, and truly experiencing life.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” – Thoreau