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Rage Dance

Rage manifested itself in the form of a word and then an image. I had become fixated on the word gap, mostly in relationship to connection. Rage allowed me to fill this word with new information and reorient myself in a way that showed me, or perhaps softened me back towards connection. The image that arrived was a web, I could see it. The web existed between myself and my work, an audience, my students, strangers, and inside the web was rage. I was able to remember how connected I am to my rage and that rage is angry and violent, but also quiet, vulnerable, afraid, and controlled. It might even be kindness, deep down, and laced with understanding. It is, hurt feelings, desire, it is love- for me. I move from and with rage- cathartic, quiet, passive aggressive gesture, controlled calculated arrival and selfless/selfish abandon. Rage towards my-self is prominent, but rage towards others lives there too.

About two weeks later I took a literal approach towards writing to and for someone specific. I wrote a letter to my mom describing how the week and a half before she died would happen. I took the text into my studio practice alongside my considerations of rage. I did not go into the studio and scream, though I did roar, howl, breathe, shudder, remember, curl, expand, and slow down. From there I felt connected to silence, to the space itself and the distance between me and the very space I was in, between me and the objects in space, between me and what and who it was in the space with me. My dance was able to take on something different than just meaning. It became a process and in a very abstract way. I was in dialogue with my ideas and with a part myself, but not me as body or dancer, or something named or outlined. I was the work, the idea. I improvised, I did not memorize, really, but I knew what I was doing. I could work, I had so much to work with; and this work was able to take over, allowing narrative to come and go without needing to be in the foreground anymore.

I was able to move through my mom’s passing; remembering and allowing myself to engage with how deep it has been to lose her. Here I considered my own death too, and my daughter, bondings of family and the energy to be present; the realization that my mom had been dying for years, and that I am afraid to be my mom. Watching her die was one of the most profound experiences I have ever witnessed. It was beginning and ending at the same time.

As if many texts were becoming present at once, I began to consider how I might go about capture. Not trying to form anything, just allowing what is nearby or in front of me to float, to be seen, but not directed or sourced; allowing words, space, and myself in space to be untidy, unknown, but not necessarily alone. Rage led to a realization of a gap, which connected itself to empathy and compassion, which then re-associated fracture.

In discussion with Richard Allsopp I began to consider the weight of things - space, words, and movement; as well as who and what was in the space with me. We spoke about revealing multiple narratives inside one narrative and setting up conditions to bring material together, so as to allow myself to be as much in relationship with writing as I am with movement. Sharing my process, studio ideas, writings, and teaching moments with Ric has helped me create alternative spaces in thought, in body, and space.

The relations and tensions between writing and movement are still at the forefront of my process. The name of what I am trying to reveal in my thesis’ is still unclear to me. I do know it is embedded in orientation towards the words I am writing and the movement and language I am speaking.

I do not think I have succeeded in manifesting large amounts of material or product, but I have had altering experiences in my studio practice and in the showing of my movement practice during the semester. I have not finished unraveling rage or fracture or any of the pile of words I presented in my proposal, for the most part they have entered my process and I am allowing their presence to exist in the magnetic field Ric suggested.

I am trying to learn how to reveal what is underneath the/my writing. How do I transfer the physical into words, what am I not doing, and what am I not seeing or reading or hearing or understanding?

I am thinking of how I might go about describing movement, if requested, and now how might I mobilize this ability in writing. It seems to do with clarity, an understanding of layer, and the ability to language the multiplicity within a single idea, word, or even sensation. I feel a slight giddiness in my lack of knowing how I might take on this task of describing- in writing. Maybe it is because I am not overwrought with strategies that might thwart the vulnerability I seek to find in writing. Or perhaps I just enjoy trying to figure it out. I am certain I have sent Ric words or sentences that reveal and expose my level of ability to write. Yet, the focus of our conversations seemed to land elsewhere, not specifically in or about the writing I had sent or will produce. Although I confess, I did write “what is the meaning of life.” I wish I hadn’t, but also kind of glad I did since it shed light on the ridiculous, on the permanence of writing something to someone, and as Ric said: the meaning of life is changing daily.

Besides keywords and process words, hopes and tasks, what is it that I am trying to do? What am I trying to get out of this practice which will softly land as a project?

I am trying to write words that move and enable someone reading my artist book to understand how I go about unraveling materials of thought and movement. Quite honestly, when sitting here writing and wondering what is the actual reflection, I would say there is a sense of expansion; I am not grounded, yet not adhered to any fixed point. I keep telling myself this is process-a process- the process. It seems foreign, is it really there? Happening all around me? It is open and floating. So as I move towards the next phase of the thesis work I am thinking about tasks and multiple products, the weight of the writing; without knowing what will be kept or thrown away.

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