On the Other Side of Exhaustion

I sent out the following to all the performers and collaborators of The Dislocation Express today and then realized it could be worthy of a blog post. This collaborative piece by Dandelion Dancetheater and AXIS Dance Company opens tomorrow. Info at:
http://axisdance.org/TDE.php

“As we move closer to our world premiere (tomorrow,) I’m starting to shift from
thinking logistically about the piece into more philosophical aspects of
what we’re doing. So bear with me as I share some of the things I’m
pondering. It helps me to understand more deeply what we’re doing if I
voice some of the insights I’m having.

Since yesterday I’ve been reflecting on
the amount of hard work, commitment, trust and sheer determination it’s
taken to bring this work to life. We started planning it in 2008 and I
feel we’ve been rising up to this moment in many ways since then. Any
devised dance/theater production takes an exhausting amount of effort,
but this one is in a class of its own.

In addition to rehearsing things over and over, learning orders and
then having to throw them out and learn new orders, dealing with
costumes and technical problems, navigating our personal lives–we also
have to maneuver through three highly uncertain sites AND sustain
performance energy over a complicated location-hopping journey.

I am exhausted after each rehearsal AND I feel exhilarated. There’s
something deeply satisfying for me about pushing past my limits and
having to then push even further. Both body and mind are stretched to
their max. I’m hungry, sore, probably dehydrated, unable to keep track
of all the details, distracted by the public, concerned for everyone’s
safety and well being, attempting to both stay present in performance
mode and make mental notes to give later, and tripping over my costume
and cords. It’s too much. I can’t keep it all together.

And so I have to eventually surrender to the insanity of it all. I
enter a somewhat psychedelic state. I meet myself anew and perform from a
place of power and truth that I can’t find until I’ve exhausted all
other strategies for control.

This process is what has kept me in this field with so much
commitment for so long. It has become a central part of my spiritual
practice. I am continually in search of methods for performance-creation
that border on vision quest, shamanic ritual, meditation retreat. The Dislocation Express certainly fits into this category. It’s kicking my butt and I’m thankful for that. “

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