Our Stories

Hi Jeffrey!  I just finished your book and felt so compelled to write and now I am on my couch, paralyzed, my fingernails hovering over the keyboard.  This resistance to write feels as strong as my desire to blow my heart wide open and spill words onto this screen.  I appreciate how you included these episodes in your book.  Very real.  Very present at this stage of my life.  Two moments will stay with me from the last few chapters.  They are affirming moments.  Connecting to something bigger, rising above the noise,  expressing our true selves and helping others do the same.  

APRIL 21, 2016: We were all dancing.  “Jill said, ‘Can someone in Sound put on some Prince?’ The music came on and everyone started dancing”  (Tambor, p261).  Against all odds, despite all of the work we had to do, Leah and I too blasted Prince in Kelly King’s studio.  I am reacquainting with the joyful part of dance – the most important part!  I felt it at the end of our performance Friday night and then Sunday at Ecstatic Dance.  I love the nonverbal cosmic connection of dancing in a big group of people (even if that big group of people is miles away dancing at the very same moment – like Tia Nina and the cast of Transparent!  Or, like the global underscore.  

“One by one, each student got up onstage and told their story. … Acting and comedy were about saving lives.  My dad use to say, ‘Be useful.’ This was useful” (Tambor, 268).  This statement gives so much weight to the creative act.  Whether we are acting or dancing, we are not offering extra.  This work is essential.  This work offers many many physical benefits (SO IMPORTANT) while also nudging out potential as human beings (EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT).  My 94 year old grandfather is so stressed with managing daily life – bills, house, appointments, work (!!), etc.  I asked him when he could turn on some music and dance for a few minutes and he laughed it off.  What could be more important than play?  Connecting to your body?  Dropping into rhythms that shake you out of habits and bring you somewhere new?  Being somewhere new?  Asking questions about that place?  Learning more at age 94!  

I love collecting people’s daily rituals and loved learning yours.   Shout out to Nancy Morgan.  I heard your voice in my head and that pushed my fingers onto the keys.

 

FREE Feedback Workshop for Artists

I am giving a FREE workshop about sharing feedback.  Excited to meet artists in the community and talk art!  Description and RSVP link below.

New! Peer-feedback Workshop for Artists
For artists continuing to create through the summer, come experience artist-to-artist, objective, non-directorial feedback.  This structure called Fieldwork provides a safe space where you can learn what your audience sees, feels, and hears in response to your works in progress.  
Artists are encouraged to bring works in progress that are ready to share for feedback.  Works of all genres and stages of development welcome.  The session will be facilitated by dance artist Ilana Silverstein.
 
The workshop is FREE TO ALL ARTHOUSE ARTISTS, and will be held Saturday, Aug 12th at 1-3pm in the Newton space. Please bring an in-progress or completed piece that you’d like to discuss or get feedback on, and take this opportunity to meet some of your fellow artists.  A description of the workshop is included below, and the RSVP form can be found HERE.

Body and Earth Chapter

Andrea Olsen, I finished your book!  After holding on to it for 15 years, starting and stopping a million times, I got to day 31.  As a way to get to know my knew home, I am gong to do the place visits in my yard, my new yard.  Excited to continue on with the book.

The first word that came to mind for your last activity was AGE.  Could age be explored in the context of Body and Earth?  

First thoughts:

  • No judgment 
  • Age of new home: 88 years old.  How was this house/land shaped by history?  Great grandparents generation built it.  Once, a Jewish neighborhood.  The house of a Holocaust survivor.
  • What did the land look like?  Feel like?  What was growing here?
  • Age of me: 36 years old.  How did my story lead me here?  Now, interconnecting with the land.  And not fragmenting it.  Listening.
  • Drink in wisdom from the land.  Offer each other refreshment.
  • Views of aging lands and aging bodies.  Soil becomes richer and body/mind becomes richer with time.
  • Strong relationships with the Earth over time = better health for both?

Climbing out

Today is completely open. My plan is to spend an hour with Andrea Olsen’s Body and Earth and then sink into course planning for the day. Some time in my body before losing myself in my laptop. I am designing a career networks in dance course for the GWU Dance MFA program and have drafted the syllabus outline; so, picking up where I left up shouldn’t be that difficult. This plan seems very doable, but first, I need to mark this moment.

We have been in our house for 16 days. During this time, I have not felt well. I have choked, cut myself by accident, had an allergic reaction to a mattress, and have had head-splitting migraines. Now, recovered, I can take control again. May felt so different, so relaxed, so full of possibility. June is the unfamiliar. Today, I am reframing you, June. You are the explorer. You are the new best friend. You are the guide. You will be accepting of my querkiness. You will be a time in my life that I will hold dear always. A time of deep internal exploration and external expression. A time that embraces an easy going lifestyle. A time of creative and spiritual discovery.

New home. New city. New outlook on life.

On to phase II of ilanaspace! Until now, this site has promoted performance experimentation, guided relaxation, & artist workshops in Washington, D.C. The new content is unknown, although the inspiration is abundant. Sending love from my new hometown of Kansas City. Please get in touch if you are ever passing through!

Happy Summer,
Ilana

Mission Complete

Hello from Kansas City! (my current favorite greeting).

We have been Kansans for 16 days. Life is easy going. Life is morning improvs, sorting through stuff, cooking delicious meals. “The river of life, the ocean of emotions, the stream of consciousness” – Andrea Olsen. Listening to the Master of None soundtrack and organizing life and thoughts:
Bring on the nesting.
Feels like a sacred time in my life.
Preparations for creativity.
Taking care of my body is a priority. If my body is asking for stretching, I stretch. If I am tired, I sleep.
My social self is satisfied, for now.
I want to be with my grandparents. I want to visit my sister. Do I stay or go?