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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.

Monday, March 19, 2007

After Beauty

I….. saw…..Forsythe….

I am still seeing. I am marked.

Sometimes a thing is so beautiful it’s hard to look at. That’s how it was with “Quintett”. The last piece on the program, I had so far “kept up” with what was on view. The three works before intermission were astounding, graceful, hard-edged when necessary, sometines audible, always beautiful.

And then there was “Quintett”. Some works of art reach all the way through and touch my spine. Afterward I didn’t really want to talk, certainly not about that. How can words dare to aptly express, except to utter thanks?

Earlier this week Sally wrote a comment sharing with us her “audition” for Forsythe. It was the underbelly of the experience. At the end she talked about her level of bravery at the time, and that it wasn’t enough.

I can safely say, and from deep experience alongside her, that Sally’s heart is one of the bravest I know. That she stood in the seats last night, with “Quintett” just quietly gone, crying, was the bravest act I could imagine in that moment. Vulnerability and feeling deeply are fierce qualities. These shape us to be the artists that we are.

Sometimes Sally’s dancing is so beautiful it hurts. It’s different from what I saw last night, but similar in that she is so utterly herself. That’s the bottom line to me. Is the person dancing authentically them?

Each Forsythe dancer operates from this angle. They struck me foremost as humans, then dancers. That is the correct heirachy as far as I’m concerned. There was no façade, just graceful inquiry and then an outpouring of sharing.

I am inspired, but it’s far away, not needing or wanting to take a specific shape just yet. I don’t need to run to Frankfurt to learn how to dance like this. I am so thankful to have seen, to still see, and to get to dance today myself.


Anonymous ed said...

Hi Penelope:

I saw your profile in the Rake yesterday (Monday, September 24, 2007). You are gorgeous and so dedicated. Is the disc degeneration due to dancing, low calcium, poor diet, genetic? Hope it doesn't get worse.
I love your thoughts given here and will be a regular reader.

10:49 AM  

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