Music: "From the Outside Looking In", Quixotic and The Human Experience
Location: Port Townsend, WA

I dance for peace. I dance for a clean planet, thriving and pulsing with life. I dance the longing forth in us all that wants ease and grace to prevail between those that see each other as different and perceive that as a challenge. I dance for clean water and free access for ALL. I dance for health and the ineffable beauty that resides in the heart of all things and beings. I dance for a dissolution of false dichotomies that separate us from our birthright, such as public versus private, or humans versus nature. I dance for honest and compassionate communication to work its way into every fiber of my being that I may listen patiently and hear the truth within every sound, word and space between them before uttering any response and that this knowing will come faster and with greater clarity with each interaction I have. I dance that love will prevail. Always. I dance as my prayer to the universe that we learn to live in harmony, without borders and in ecstasy of the incredible experience that life on this planet can be and is in these bodies. May we gather from our senses the sweet nectar of life that beams from every plant, animal, rock, surface, face and drop of water we encounter. I dance in presence with this prayer that the earth may be whole again and we, Her stewards and children, may remember ourselves.

 

Beginning today I commit to filming myself dancing every day for 40 days and posting the video online. I will use songs that I have either never heard, have always wanted to choreograph and/or perform live with the artist or has contributed to my development as a dancer. I will post the video no matter how ludicrous or silly I end up looking in the dance and every dance will be entirely improvised.

In creating a dance vlog such as this my goal is primarily to simply create and have a degree of rigor in that creative process. My spirit and body are yearning to be engaged in creation right now and at the same time I feel deeply introspective. There is a dichotomy that has arisen for me, not only in dance, between feeling versus appearance. How important is the way a thing looks if it achieves the desired feeling? If the same feeling is achieved by looking at a Monet painting as looking at a Jackson Pollock, should we be concerned with aesthetic at all? Likewise, if the same feelings of connection and intimacy can be achieved with two different people in a dance, should we be concerned with how it looks? Contrariwise, we have a natural sense of what we like to look at and what beauty means to each of us. What is given to the viewer watching people flail about who are nonetheless having real emotions and perhaps a profound experience? Is that something people are even interested in being witness to and moreover, how important is it for such a moment to be witnessed at all? If two dancers have a spiritual experience in the woods and no one sees it, do they give a single shit? I wonder...

Lately I haven’t been feeling so great. Every time I’ve returned to the city from whatever place away I’ve been, I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety and urgency come over me. Even in Portland, the tempo of life seems unmanageable at times. I compensate by trying to find a home, trying to find a job, trying to meditate, trying to do the things that seem like they SHOULD alleviate these “bad” feelings and get me back to the “good” ones. What I sadly seem to have forgotten is that as an artist, those “good” feelings being around depend on whether I am creating or not. Thanks to my good friend Milo for reminding me in a stern and important chat. So largely, I don’t care what I end up looking like in these videos. I really only want to make something and feel good knowing I’m doing the one thing that is incorruptible for me: dancing.

Dancing in public challenges one of the greatest assumptions about the art form that exists in popular culture: that dancing must be contained. There must be a sanctioned zone for it to occur. Over the last decade this assumption has been challenged countless times through the mediums of flash mobs and YouTube and as a result, dance has seen an incredible surge in popularity. I see dance as a tool to challenge people to think about the miracle of the body and hopefully in seeing someone else moving just for the joy of it and WITH others, feel their own as something to revere, cherish and enjoy.

I look forward to all the dances I will co-create with you on my travels this next month and ten days. I hope you’ll join me in the feeling of whatever song happens to come on.

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