Saturday, September 11, 2010
Dandelion at BAC - Culmination 1
Dandelion Dancetheater has now completed our “Don’t Suck!” residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
We had a public performance/competition Tuesday night, Sept. 7th, and it was a huge success on many levels. It was both a rich evening of interdisciplinary live art, and an experiment yielding very important data. We learned a tremendous amount and have our work cut out for us during the next leg of our journey with this project.
A particular luxury of this residency is that we scheduled the culminating performance a day before we left the center, giving us a day of processing and integration—as well as more relaxed clean-up. I’ll be sorting through all that I have learned for a while to come. Below are parting refletions by some of the ensemble.
I asked everyone to respond to these questions, or else to write anything that felt important to them to share:
WHAT DID YOU WANT OUT OF THIS RESIDENCY?
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
WHAT WAS HARD?
WHAT WAS SURPRISING?
DID YOU GO THROUGH ANY KIND OF TRANSFORMATION?
DAVID: New York. I wanted to work hard and learn something about myself. I also learned something about rats and how they all work hard to survive. I did work hard and I think I learned how fun that can be and how days off are much more satisfying when you’re working 12 hours a day. I was surprised at my competitive streak and had a lot of compassion for the millions of people and rats and roaches who work hard everyday to all get along and compete for space and resources. We all had to find a way not to suck and we didn’t. Mr. Baryshnikov stayed for the second half, so there must have been something there.
HEATHER: I wanted to gain further physical strength, modern dance training and discipline for working long hours toward a divine art piece. What was difficult was that I am someone who wears her heart on her sleeve & I had emotions that rose swiftly and intensely during the competition like some kind of inconsiderate tempest. This caused me to struggle through a period of self-doubt/hatred and as usual I wanted to run away . . . but I didn’t. Loving people talked me through it as did the lovely part of myself and I came to a place where things were clearer and thusly felt safe. I believe that all the hard work we each put in made the ultimate performance (in front of Mikhail Baryshnikov himself) a veritable transformational gift to the audience. I am infinitely grateful for the NYC “Don’t Suck” residency experience!
CLEVELAND: When I came to New York I was happy that I knew it would end. I liked being there but I didn’t like knowing what was waiting for me when I got back. I had a guide that took me to uninteresting places. I think it was mainly because it was more convenient. My piece turned out very well. Better than it should have. That was pleasing, probably the best part of the trip. I mean it's not that the dancers are bad , its that i'm not the best choreographer. In fact it wouldn’t have turned out well if it wasn’t for the amazing dancers. Uh ran out of things to say… Okay I just remembered that
I went to the beach twice and never got in the water. I didn’t even have swim pants on either occasion. The hotel we were in was so fancy and had such a spectacular view that I stood up all night watching the sky change color. That was worth the trip. It was a good trip and now I can say that I went somewhere for summer vacation.
MISCHA: I had a good time in New York. Me and my bro’s piece were the best I think. I spent most of my time walking around . I’m scared about the homework to catch up on. But I’m also happy that I’ll get back to my house. It was fun to meet Misha.
The apartment was nice there was a grate view.
DANA: I had always dreamed of moving to New York, so I looked forward to this trip to begin with. Although I wasn’t able to see all the tourist spots around the city, I was perfectly fine with it and actually preferred this. I felt like a real New Yorker, staying in Brooklyn, taking the subway to Manhattan, and working for 8 hours a day for six days a week, just creating and dancing. I must admit that this was the most dancing I had ever done in my life, but loved every moment of it. But its nice to come home.