Working with the artists of The Bell House

I know humans look for meaning in events and artifacts that arise, seem to actively present themselves on demand. And it may very well be coincidence and not divine plan. But I still have so much stock in those kinds of mysteries.

The weekend with the The Bell House was everything I could have hoped for and more – and – to start: The Bell House. I went to work with a group of women who are already using house as a metaphor to frame and hold their artistic voices, and those of others. We started to cross the threshold here, in these words, in terms of a core idea:

“An action in time and space is done and it is gone. But, taking the larger view, nothing that appears is capable of disappearing and all things come from nothing at all. So, in fact, what is danced remains, affects, alters the landscape forever, actually fulfilling what the more material arts – like architecture – purport to do. Gesture, shape and energy, given form in space and time, rather than being the most abstract of activities is the most real, more real than building a house.”  -Wendell Beavers from Bales’ Dancing the Body Eclectic edited by Melanie Bales and Rebecca Nett-Fiol.

We worked through time in such an involved manner, I took very few photos! But I do have a few to share.

The only section I kept in tact from the original work was this duet with suitcases.

Alicia and Tiffany moved so quickly to embody the ambiguities of departures.

Tyne and Rachel hold, and let slide this section that refers to letters lost, found and lost.

Trying to pin down time, memories, that which dissolves…

We made a new section based on fleeting images of how we are with children in the first year of their lives. You can’t see Tiffany’s face but this photo works for me because it is a consistent twining/re-entwining that reveals those images.

This weekend held so many gifts: gifts of time given – to each other, to the dance, to oneself, and intention, stories shared, conversations that gave depth to the work, laughter, nostalgia lived and shared. I am grateful and moved. And this is why I dance.

On the topic of coincidence, I took a wrong turn on the way to Holland Hall the first time heading there, and ended up in the middle of a park with…. dozens of wild geese. I laughed and thought “yeah, here we go on that wild goose chase again.” I didn’t see anymore of the geese until I walked out of the studio after the last rehearsal – and there they were in the parking lot, circling my rent car. Really. Love those coincidences. Love the chase.

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