A friend of a friend described her artist life as having three parts: the art, the social, and the healing. Hearing this clarified the what’s and the why’s of my life up until now. This was the answer to why I have continued to nurture some passions and let go of others. Right now, I love performing with Tia Nina and other interdisciplinary artists, I love Fieldwork and running The Field/DC, and I love my work as a movement artist at Georgetown Lombardi and The VA. Teaching is a persistent younger sister to the art, the social, and the healing – I love her and I find her challenging sometimes.
These passions evolved by choice and by necessity. Artist must do many things to be artists. I know that you are supposed to tailor your resume to the job or the grant that you are applying for, but I am not sure why. My whole self is what allows me to do all these different things better and continue to get better. Maybe the connection between guided imagery and feminist punk rock performance isn’t obvious but it is there! Both demand body awareness. Both encourage you to take up space and be yourself. Both do not apologize or judge. I have to express myself loudly and put myself in uncomfortable situations. I have to go against the norm and invite people to think a little differently.
Last week, while I was visiting family and friends in Boston, my friend’s husband asked me how “the dancing” was going. I answered that I love my work but I want to integrate them more. A goal of mine is to have a focus each week across the board – whether I am teaching a Shibashi class to veterans, or rehearsing a partnering duet for Tia Nina. What am I interested in right now? What is my secret thesis this week and how does it evolve to next week? On a subconscious level, this is happening. Each art activity informs the others and helps me grow as an artist. I am hoping that this blog can help me draw these connections. This is a self-study that you are invited into.
This week I am planning a national conference with other Field directors, teaching classes in movement improv, yoga, and Shibashi, rehearsing Tia Nina, showing work-in-progress at Fieldwork, adjudicating a dance showcase, and providing stretch breaks and guided imagery to hospital nurses and patients. Focus: embracing the imbalance.