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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am a dancer with Minneapolis based James Sewell Ballet, a small, contemporary ballet company. I also choreograph independently.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


As I sit outside in my backyard with a view of the Minneapolis skyline I am restlessly content and reflective. JSB returned from New York at the beginning of the week and has resumed work on ballets to be performed here in town next weekend. What of NYC? Success…

… amongst hardship and even a little tragedy. Our schedule was gruesome as we had multiple events a day. (On opening night we had tech/dress and a photo shoot.) And yet we were prepared for this. We put ourselves onto the top of the rollercoaster and controlled the inevitable fall as best we could. Sara arrived with a hip aggravation and left with a stress fracture. Thank goodness she didn’t dance beyond opening night. I’m so glad she trusted saying no. Sometimes saying no is actually saying yes, to a bigger plan, further away.

The sky turns pink as I write; it is almost 8 PM.

We left a cold and rainy Minneapolis and arrived in spring-like NYC. I lucked into the right side of the plane for seeing the skyline prior to landing. Ain’t nothing like it and it always conjures nostalgia and longing; a deep, primal energy wells up. I lived there from 1989-1994 with many summers pre and post. It has been a home to me and a part of my heart will always reside there. To return and perform at the Joyce is like a homecoming of sorts. I feel cocooned by friends and family. (My mother lives there as well as friends who are, indeed, family.)

So Sara took care of her body and the rest of us rose to the occasion of filling in her parts. Three of us mainly did this: Sally, James and I, and so Wednesday became about triage. Sara supported us the whole way, negotiating the terrain between the wings, the dressing rooms and the house. We performed with our hearts and got better with every run. I think we were perceived as a company with heart, humanity and humor.

I remained an extra day to spend time with my mom. We had a great time catching up; I had a great time being a pedestrian. We went to the Eduard Munch exhibit at the MoMA which was magnificent. His work is very touching as he so completely wears his heart on his sleeve. He is known to have said something like, “ I don’t paint what I see; I paint the memory of what I see.” I love that. That sentiment leaves room for personal reflection, for subjective influence, for impressions. Therefore specific moments aren’t so precious. The pressure to create an exact replica is lifted.

That’s what I aim to achieve as a dancer. I am no longer aiming to duplicate or imitate. I am engaged in the life-long intention of giving my impression. That’s where the art comes in for me.

It is night now. The buildings sparkle and reflect into one another. I think about NYC, how much I love it, even long for it at times, but know that here is where I am truly home. I came here and became an artist. Here is where I learned (am still learning!) that it is safe to take a breath and stop imitating. Here is where I met my amazing husband who can do his art in a way not possible elsewhere. Here is where we have our house, our 1925 stucco that has a backyard view of the city. Here is where my heart is though pieces will forever remain scattered.


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