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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, June 08, 2006

I Thought This Was Over

Late the other night I received an e-mail from a friend and colleague about a fellow dancer from our salad days in NYC. He is dying of AIDS.

I thought this was over. I am of the generation just past the one where everyone died, or so I thought.

G was a puppy. We auditioned for Michael Mao Dance together and that’s where we met. We made eyes at one another in an I’d-like-to-dance-with-you kind of way. In the smallish warm-up studio, filled with dancers, G literally broke into a ménage of coupe jetes (big, huge leaps in a circle) by way of a warm up. No kidding. He was that eager and green.

We danced together for almost two years. He was hyperactive and highly nervous. He couldn’t keep still. He had a huge laugh. He was president of our club of folks whose boyfriends had been to or were in jail. (Again, no kidding.)

He got into Mark Morris Dance Group and I just saw him perform last winter here in Minneapolis. Before me was the same bounding puppy but older and physically integrated in the way that happens when a dancer is always working and performing.

This news puts life into perspective. As I negotiate my first real tragedy, my divorce, I look to G and whisper a promise to do it well, to live life large. I am exhausted from operating from a place of fear; I am tired of only feeling open hearted onstage.

That T-shirt saying is true: Life is not a dress rehearsal. I want to wear all my best clothes and stop keeping them in the back of the closet. Every occasion is a special one.

As G lies dying in a NYC hospital bed I reach across time and distance, extending my two hands and my one heart toward his easy passing. As the promises of my wedding day melt upward to reside in the ether I make another one here. It is to myself, to always love, honor and obey my own heart.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Benjamin said...

Damn. I am speechless. As unique as a dancer, a maker, you are also a writer maker. Life is hard, beautiful, exhausting, a royal pain in the kiester, and the only game in town. Thanks for reminding me of this. And hey, remember that there are lots of perspectives; changing now and again can be, um, useful. I suppose...

12:23 AM  

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