The working title for Collette’s solo is Berceuse. Mary Anderson, one of our neighbors who came to the in-progress showing on Friday, spoke eloquently about what she saw and experienced, and challenged both of us to greater detail and fuller, more articulate ways of hearing and conveying the potential in the work. She later shared an article that she wrote with me. “The Conscious Heart On the Act of Creation and the Compassionate Teachings of Art” was published in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin in Winter/Spring 2015 and I have included the link below.
In her essay, she quotes Martin Buber: “The word is an abyss through which the speaker strides. One should speak words as if the heavens were opened in them. And as if it were not so that you take the word in your mouth, but rather if you entered into the word.” Mary goes on to say “The beauty of Buber’s words is their emphasis on our intention when speaking, his recognition of the word as a sphere of relation, dia-logos, through which we come to be, within which we live and move and have our being. … What an extraordinary difference there is between ‘taking the word in your mouth’ and ‘entering into the word.’ Art offers a space to experience this difference of intention, the differences between appropriation and reception, between grasping and listening, between talking about a thing, objectifying it, and being in dialogue with it.”
As we continue to work on this dance, we will move to provide a space for dialogue with the nature, meaning, and intention of a lullaby – the kindness that surrounds it, as well as the mystery that binds it to death. I am looking more closely, now, at the way we have delineated the space Collette inhabits in the dance, the specific motional choices she makes as she traverses that space, and the manner in which viewers might enter the dance, the way in which they ‘stride through the abyss’ of this dance, and turn it over in their being and experience. I doubt the dance will sooth or calm or lull throughout; while it is meant to carry the viewer into his or her own experience, and while I would hope all who enter find some measure of kindness, it is not necessarily intended to pacify.
One of our other neighbors who was present, Nancy Herr, took this photo above as we were engaging in post-performance discussion. In both of these photos there is some sense of the particular way we found Union Hall to support our creative needs: the floor is perfection, there is an abundance of height, breadth and natural light. There is also a view of the versatility of this community space, so carefully restored by the Union Hall Committee, with an eye toward how it resides historically in the village. Yes, there was a yard sale here last week! And a few weeks before that, Nancy made a photo presentation of their trip to Tanzania. And next fall, there will be a quilt show. This town gathering place is a treasure.