The act of art making is intensely and inherently vulnerable… what else is new. You take some of the deepest bits of your soul and put it in a glass box, or in our case a black box, for people to experience, question, indulge in, judge, fall in love with, or worse, walk away utterly untouched. It’s so easy to get swept up in it. All of the valor and pit falls of art making overcome you. Sometimes you forget your impetus. Recently, a friend of mine read me a journal entry in which she had an epiphany, grounding her to her roots and love for her art. She discussed her love for the community built around dance, and the unprecedented sharing of love and raw vulnerability. This coupled with various other experiences in the past week have put me in an emotionally interesting place with my art. This weekend I showed my work “Preserved, Revered, in Whole” at the OSU Dance Winter Concert in the Barnett Theater. It was received with either half hearted congratulations or nothing at all. And that discouraged me. I was basing my feelings about my own work- work that I spilled my heart and soul into, that was about something so deeply intimate to me and my dancers, that built a community of caring and preciousness- on how other people received it. It wasn’t until I heard my friend’s journal entry that I realized that I didn’t care about those other people. Those people were all competing to be better than one another in a bubble of a department. Those people couldn’t possibly know how deeply personal that work was to me. At the end of the day, my dancers were coming up to me telling me how much they enjoyed performing my work, and truthfully, that’s all that matters. As far as I am concerned, we built a community, we made something raw and real, and had the guts to put bare skin and bare souls on stage for everyone to see. We brought a process full circle and returned to ourselves and returned to the doctrines of day 1 in rehearsal. That was achieved, and therefore, I feel successful. I have never in my life felt so intimately connected to a work. It came to me at a time in my life when I really needed a vessel. I am so deeply proud of my dancers and I know that, though our community is now done in its material form, it will never disperse. The past few months have been some of the rawest and emotional of my entire life, and this work was a tether for me to hold onto. Its meaning evolved through the months and eventually condensed to the point of organic and true. Most of all, I appreciate and love so deeply the five wonderful people that danced for me, gave me their time and opened their hearts. I am eternally grateful for them.
Choreographer: Laura DeAngelis
Dancers: Amanda Colangelo, Mason Chapello, Kali Czekaj, Alize Raptou, Marissa Thomas
Music: “The Chopin Project (Bonus Track Version)” by Ólafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott
Lighting: Mary Chase Pierson