Friday, September 24, 2010

Dance-Improv, Going to Tokyo and Other PUREly Fabulous Septemberish Things

Is the month nearly over already?

When you're crazy-busy doing things, it's not so easy to find time to write about them.

So, in a nutshell....

This month began on the heels of an intense dumbek teacher's training Retreat -- the first that Raquy has ever held. I definitely bit off more than I could chew, technique-wise, and was suitably humbled by the end of the weekend. Turkish technique is haaarrrddd!!!

Then I jumped into intense rehearsals for Anasma's amazing event, On Your Marks, Get Set... DANCE! This unique show featured a first half of choreographed theatrical dance on the theme of Warrior, Woman or City (or a combination of these themes).

I chose Warrior and worked assiduously with Elisheva and Kazuma to create a narrative solo exploring the genesis of a Warrior Spirit -- and how it can have unintended consequences. My blurb for the program was this: 

"The Warrior's fighting spirit is often awakened during childhood, when we are confronted with bullying and random playground cruelty. This Warrior spirit inspires us to stand up for ourselves and develop our physical and mental power. But if that initial injury is not addressed and healed, it can become an impetus for revenge, and the warrior can devolve into brutality and mindless power-seeking."

The second part of the show was entirely improvised, melding dance and improvisational theater. Working from audience suggestions (and the mystery music provided by their iPods!) we created dance scenes, machines and an emotional orchestra, to the great delight of all!

And I was privileged to emcee the entire evening, so I got quite a workout!

The following weekend, I presented the Warrior piece again for the PURE weekend of workshops, variety shows, and our Annual Procession which, this year, was on The High Line, with variety shows at Je'Bon and the rescued docked boat, Lightship Frying Pan. (Actually, the good people at Pier 66 asked us to use the gorgeous big space on their main barge, rather than the groovy but small boiler-room space in the Frying Pan itself.)

Fresh on the heels of our fabulous PURE weekend, we finalized plans to bring PURE Reflections to Tokyo, Japan!

Members of our thriving PURE chapter there saw our April performance at Columbia University and, moved to tears, asked us to mount the production there with PURE TK's dancers.

Here is our promo using footage from that performance (if you are viewing this entry on Facebook, please click here):

Kaeshi and I finalized plans to go there in mid-November to prepare for a November 28th Procession and Performance.

So I shelled out $980 for a ticket to Tokyo on Wednesday, so you can imagine, I am thrilled, nervous and deliriously excited about this!!

Not only is it a dream-come-true for me to go to Tokyo, to do so within the context of creating a work of art so near to my heart exceeds my wildest hopes.

This show, both in process and performance, is a life-changing experience.  It is our deepest hope to be able to share it dancers and audience everywhere.

Who would have guessed that our first baby step in this direction would take us clear across the Pacific Ocean!!

Life is strange and wonderful.