artistic, Ballet, choreography, contemporary ballet, creative process, Dance, ephemeral, heart knowledge, kinetic imagery, modern dance, sharing work, Soul to Soul, spirit, Teaching, teaching dance
As an artist and a teacher of ephemeral kinetics, I often wonder what it is my work amounts to. There is no tangible structure, thing or product to behold. All that is left of my work is what remains in the hearts of those that experience it. Yes, there are videos of work or photos of moments in work, but really, the work as it is meant to be experienced, does not exist in any kind of totality.
Recently I created a very large work and left that work with the company. When I say left the work, I really mean leave behind the spirit of the work inside the movements of the hearts and minds of the dancers. They are the keepers of this energy and of this spirit. They are the guardians of the kinetic imagery and are truly the only ones that can translate the visions of my heart mind.
I left this work behind in the hands of many beautiful dancers and had to give away any control or tangible ownership. I sat quietly the evening of its premier knowing, that several states away, my vision was being revealed, moment-by-moment, in a space so very, far from where I sat.
This got me to thinking more deeply about what it is I do. How is it I have managed to make a life out of sharing the unknown or unseen? How is it that I have managed to build a body of work that really only exists in the moment? Even in teaching, once the class has ended, one can only know with ones heart what the body is feeling. One cannot really point to a book and say, I know this. Tests do not reflect the body’s knowledge when the heart is the only thing that truly understands this kinetic knowledge.
Does the work I do have value? Does what I share within the context of a concert or classroom matter in the scope of things? I know my heart has been moved and my life changed by my own process, and for that there is much value as my life is larger than I ever dreamed possible. Yet, what does it mean and how does one share that with people in the world who are so desperately needed to help support this kind of illusive artistic expression?
Our culture puts a great deal of value on product. We are constantly thinking about producing and providing outcomes. Even if those outcomes are really, just place cards to help people assign value to something unseen or unknown. Many times, I wonder why it is we are forced to justify ourselves through sales and seats when we should be spending more time crafting and exploring the value of our hearts.
Yet, with all of these unanswered questions, I retreat to the land of kinetic images. I give my time and my energy to creating worlds within worlds that only those that have the courage to walk through, will understand. I choose to spend my time working in the ephemeral world because what has brought goodness and light into my own life, may in fact, be felt by someone else. Moreover, the simple heart exchange, the moment when one basks in the energy and light of the universe through the transference of kinetic heart energy, is the most immeasurable yet profound moment of all. This is the moment I choose.