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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, August 02, 2007

Opening Night

My new piece for the Fringe opens tonight. It’s called “We’ll Survive if We Don’t Protect Ourselves”, and it’s taken on a new and more immediate meaning in light of yesterday’s tragedy here in Minneapolis.

Driving to rehearsal @ 6:34, I saw an ambulance crossing the river, speeding down Broadway. I turned before we crossed paths.

When I arrived at my venue, a public building, folks were outside, talking on their cells and smoking, not a particularly unusual sight. But then I heard the news. We plugged in a radio and got on our phones.

I’ve worked/rehearsed during tragedy before. It’s true what they say, “The show must go on.” (Though on 9/11 you can better believe I holed up at home, my mom having been at the Towers. (She’s fine.)) We had to get to work; I had to finish the piece, for one thing. The costumes needed a final nod, and a photographer was coming. And so we proceeded, and stuff was different. The irony and bitter truth of my pithy title hit me hard. What began as a an abstract and even lofty notion quickly turned concrete, tons and tons of it.

And yet the work I do is the best thing I can do to deal with something indigestable and impossible to articulate. To me, it is the highest honor I can pay. And perhaps by witnessing it, folks can have some sort of catharsis. We certainly do, dancing it.

As I undergo my final preparations for tonight (costume laundering, ironing and repair, picking up programs, loading in chairs, picking up folks from the airport, rehearsing), I think about grace. I think about my immensely fortunate life. I am reminded to not take it for granted. My show will indeed go on. This magnificent festival will go on, more needed than ever, more capable than ever of creating community.


Blogger Andy Gricevich said...

I adored your piece at the Fringe (in which I was also performing).

The title drew me in immediately. I've got an essay called "Vulnerablism" that you might enjoy, given the similar ethos. If you're curious, it's online at

The section on poetry is pretty tentative, but I'm happy with the stuff on ethics.

In any case, keep up the great work! I hope to see more during return visits to Minneapolis.

all the best,

Andy Gricevich

12:56 AM  
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10:45 PM  

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