Archive for October 17th, 2011

October 17, 2011

Dream Chance

So … we’ve discussed my past in dance, and the reason I can’t anymore, right? Now is one of those times where the Fear comes back.

At the end of this year, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will be closing its doors. Their final performance will be at the Park Avenue Armory on New Year’s Eve. But before that, they’ll be here, in DC, at the Kennedy Center.


It’s been a dream of mine for the past oh, 15 years, to dance with/for Merce Cunningham. My focus was always in modern choreography, and they do it better than anyone I’ve ever seen. I was lucky enough in 2007 (just months after my accident) to  see the company perform three pieces … two of which were premieres.

eyeSPACE was something new and unusual … an hour-long piece of choreography, with no music. Each audience member was given an iPod Shuffle … and told when to begin playing. Each iPod had different accompaniment  … some were music, some were city or nature sounds, and at least one was a spanish lesson. (My date for the night had that one.) You could also choose to take out your headphones, and just listen to the sounds of the dance itself. Everyone in the audience had an entirely unique experience. It was a study in DANCE as a stand alone art form … not just as an accompaniment to music.

It was stunning.

I, of course, cried my way through that performance. For the beauty, and for everything lost. When applying to take classes with the company (in hopes of becoming a company member one day), they put you through a course of back strength testing and build up. Specifically, lower back. The part that was so much trouble for me. So … that was out.

And this year, they’re closing. But as a grand farewell, they’re doing the Legacy Tour … and one stop is here. On December 2nd. Any way I can, I’m going.

Here comes the scary part:

On December 3rd, they’re offering a Master Class for intermediate to advanced dancers. I’m not at that level anymore. I’d say, thanks to my limitations, I’m a low intermediate. (And yes, that just killed me to write.) I don’t know that I could handle it.

My husband last night said “It might hurt.” I thought he was talking physically … he was talking emotionally. God love him for trying to protect me … he knows how upset I get any time I’m faced with something I used to be able to do so easily, and just can’t anymore.

But IT’S A CHANCE TO DANCE WITH MERCE. A chance that will NEVER happen again.

And I’m terrified.

What do I do?


As a side bonus … CoisCéim Dance Theatre … from Dublin. I saw this program (Knots) in 2005. This video does NOT do it justice. It’s so much more intricate and dramatic live. The camera work here is just terrible.*

The duet at 4:00 was the last piece I ever performed … just 2 weeks before my accident. It was raw, and emotional … just like you’d expect it to be. Oh … and my shirt wasn’t torn. 



*Though I do LOVE that they didn’t try to edit the bruises out. That was a dance that left huge welts. It was worth it.