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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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Home Too

A couple months ago I wrote a piece called “Home” wherein I recapped James Sewell Ballet’s recent performances at the Joyce Theater and mused about NYC and Minneapolis, the primary places where pieces of my heart reside.

As I face the necessity of moving from my house back into an apartment due to separating with my husband, I reexamine the question of home and as always, how it relates to dance.

Home is where the heart is. Indeed. And so my home is at the barre, on the floor of a studio (preferably wood), in my house that soon I will be leaving (along with its wood floors), in my new apartment that is perfect and has a balcony, back in Ohio where several of my family buoy me from afar, down in Charleston, SC where others of my family do the same. My home is always with my mother (currently of the Charleston crew). My home is NYC: walking the streets, knowing the grid and the train lines like the back of my hand. My home is the back of my hand and my palm and my fingers and their nails, not so well kept these days as I pack and organize and stress. My home is this computer: my documents, my email account; it is a life-line certainly. My home is my Buddhist practice. My home is my cat. It is my backyard and my bathroom and my bed. It is my husband.

And all these things change. From the barre to the studio floor to the relationship, life has the power to shift our terrain when we least expect it. Good thing I’m fast on my feet.

I’m fast on my feet, lighter than air, smoother than silk. I can sing out of tune and dance to make you cry. In this process of (re)defining home I uncover hidden skills and lean into them like safety nets. I am creating a new cocoon, a new regime. My home is shifting and shapeless and these are the new order.

So what to hold on to? Well, still the barre. Sometimes the bar. My feet plant on the studio floor and will soon sink into the carpet of my new place. I will dance on the tiles of my new kitchen and get splinters from my new balcony.

Home is my past as I unearth many papers in my effort to pack. Myself appeares to me, and I’ve been here all along: in a zipped-up suitcase that I haven’t been brave enough to open. Reading my own words and those of others, I discover that I struggle with the same old issues, but from a slightly more elevated perspective as I move around the spiral of experience. I’m dizzy from so much rotating. My goal becomes to let go anyway, to allow the motion sickness to set in; it’s better than stagnation. As I’ve said before, stillness is the scariest thing for a dancer.


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