Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's Real

The thing about having a dream and having everyone I know get on board with that dream to make it real is that the dream actually happens. The ideas I have in my head actually manifest into reality. On the one hand, it is the most exciting occurrence ever. I stepped off a ledge on faith and now I'm landing softly, on a sprung floor with easy knees. That is favor, I tell you. On the other hand though, it is the scariest ish ever.

It's 5:06 am on a Saturday morning, and while I usually would be sound asleep hoping to catch up on the zzzzz's stolen from me through out the week, I can't do it.  My heart is thumping loudly in my chest with anxiety.

I've been planning The Window Sex Project since July 2010, and with a series of a summer workshops in 2011, and what looks like a 9 month long creative process, in 2012 fully produced performances (or at least one) will actually happen.

With each rehearsal another huge chunk of choreography is created, and we are only days away from piecing together the entire choreographic structure that will be my first evening length work. whoa.

Forget being curated, with a half hour work presented at Well-Known Dance Theater. I just went straight for the gold. Self-produce an evening of my own work. What the hell was I thinking? I don't have any money (yet), or rich benefactors (yet). I'm still hoping I can pay all my bills month to month, and then save a little something. Yet and still, this thing is happening.

I looooove making this dance. Every rehearsal, my dancers and I burst into unending giggles. We discuss in depth our lives - how we carry ourselves through the world, how the world sees us. We translate thoughts into movement and movements into thoughts. We observe our daily world, look at videos, and read, and write and talk with our "window sex eyes" on. And each time a satisfying new dance phrase is made I erupt into my happy dance. Right now that dance is a fury of little gallops in place with clapping, or shaking jazz hands and hip wiggles.

Yesterday afternoon, I cased one of the potential performance sites. The grandeur of the room was a bit overwhelming. Any event held in that space is truly official. I'm about to be official. Which brings me back to the anxiety preventing my sleep right now.

This has to be good. There is no room for failure. Of course the success of art is subjective, but I've got to be confident about the product I present. Does it accomplish the goals I set for it? I don't want to be still creating up to the moment of performance and then when it goes on stage say, "Oh I wish I had done this, or had taken more time with that." I want to already know as much as I can about what I've created, so I am ready to appropriately respond to audience reaction. It takes a confident woman to bare the inner workings of her mind and heart to a public she may or may not know, and then be able to defend it in the court of public opinion.

I heard Edwidge Danticat talk today and she urged that we "create dangerously." All I keep thinking now, is have I taken enough risks with this dance? Putting the word "sex" in the title is not enough. It means nothing, if the work is not as raw and real as its title suggests. I'm not talking about risks for the sake of an art maker's risks. I'm talking about telling the stories of objectification, harassment, assault, violence that have been entrusted to me by women I know and women who I've met over the course of what has turned into my feminist activist's journey. This piece has a bigger responsibility than to just be a work of art. This work carries with it the responsibility to propel conversation and ignite something in people that wants them to change. It is an ultimately hopeful dance, but right now I'm just hoping I can finish making a dance that is worth allll this while.

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