Feet enter the studio space, bags thrown down, and shoes removed. Coats unzip, and as hands leave each sleeve, the arms emerge unencumbered by December chill, stretching in the open space, with fingers flexed.
We stand, all three, before the mirrored walls and window overlooking a darkened Eighth Avenue.
Our soles touch the wooden floor, from heel to arch, mapping out a pattern, leaving the smallest trace in the light dust from the traffic of the day.
At first only two feet move, the feet of the teacher, as we stand taking in the solo story, observing before translating to our own legs and breath. Then we move in unison, students of each other’s phrase, assimilating the simple questions:
If you had 32 counts to tell a story, what would you say?
How would you move?
What part would you tell?
The idea was born of a song, and a simple lyric,
“Don’t you know I breathe in Fire, breathe out Fire?”
I could feel constriction around my throat. Something was stuck.
My feet hit neighborhood concrete last year, stepping in time to the infectious beat and simple ukelele strum of Merrill Garbus. Though the subway entrance, with steps yawning open to the street stood in my field of vision, I saw only dancers telling a story before my eyes.
Each story was site specific, told from the room it occurred in, and all within a home.
“What happened between us makes sense if I’m nothing. You’re all if I am nothing at all.”
I saw the story for months, and then November winds began to blow. I wanted to create the piece before the ball dropped, so I reached out in specificity.
I asked the dancers two questions, and sat with my own answers. I knew my story intimately, and chose the living room. The other two spoke from the bedroom and kitchen, and we came together, to learn what each gesture meant.
We formed a community, a trio of strength. Tears fell and laughter rang. We grabbed shoulders, opened our wrists, and laid our heads, leaning gently before lifting in rhythmic time.
In the new year, once the holidays had passed, we clothed ourselves in red, and struck a match, so we could dance through the camera’s lens.
No longer apart, but moving as one, now it could be shared. My hands grabbed for my throat, but felt only space.
“I am in bloom at the end of the world.”
Now, Share your Story. You are not alone.