To my art... (a love poem)

 
In a performance workshop on the Globe stage, weeks after seeing aerial theatre for the first time, also at the Globe. 2005.

In a performance workshop on the Globe stage, weeks after seeing aerial theatre for the first time, also at the Globe. 2005.

Only Child Aerial Theatre's "ASYLUM" at NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts 2017, after over a decade of trial and error in search of a creative process and movement practice that would result in the kind of work that I love... Photo by Andrew T Foster

Only Child Aerial Theatre's "ASYLUM" at NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts 2017, after over a decade of trial and error in search of a creative process and movement practice that would result in the kind of work that I love... Photo by Andrew T Foster

Poetic theatre, you're a minx. You're a wiley smartass of a companion when you hide from me. But you're also a patient sage of a teacher. I love you for all of it. You are the shadow to my Peter Pan, and I lost you for a moment there. I was on a search for Neverland, dreaming of flight and foreverness. What a lonely trek. Yes, we shared some dances when I paused from flying in circles above you, but somewhere in the clouds my eyes glazed over with forgetting and I lost you for a moment there.  

I missed you, and I couldn't remember to say it.

I never fully understood why you needed to be so wordy. You talk too much sometimes. You do. Maybe that's why I needed to get some air from you. Sometimes in your silence you make the most sense to me, but I've also seen you forget to breathe. 

I like you when you remember you're a poet, that's when we hit our stride. I like when you take images and sounds and turn a story into a collage; a beautiful puzzle of clues that guide me like a treasure map. I like creating these maps too, spirals upon spirals that remind other people's hearts that we beat together.

I thought that Circus might have a new clue for us, I thought maybe he'd help bridge our gaps.  I really don't know if you guys would get along though, you're similar but not. I courted him for quite some time, and we definitely have had our moments. For a short time, I wondered if maybe I belonged with him more than I did with you, but he very rarely got me like you do. His words never fit as well with his actions, and he tried either too hard or not enough. I just wanted him to tell me stories, and usually he just showed off.  I tried to change him into you. With foggy, cloud-smudged eyes I still loved you best (even though I couldn't remember).

I do hope someday you both will be friends. He's cool, and hopefully he'll grow out of this weird "bro" phase soon. He's going through an adolescence. Don't worry, I'll help you guys find common ground because I know it's there.

Theatre, you've stood the test of millennia. You manage to stay relevant, even when the fight for you feels impossible against the big guns. You are essential. It's like Eric Liu said in his TED talk: "It's not an accident that democracy and theatre emerged around the same time in ancient Athens. Both of them yank the individual out of the enclosure of her private self. Both of them create great public experiences of shared ritual. Both of them bring the imagination to life in ways that remind us that all of our bonds in the end, are imagined, and can be re-imagined." 

Imagine and reimagine, that's what your stories teach me. Spiral back and remind, illuminate and refine, that is the pattern you've taught me to embrace in life and art and study.

Thank you for always finding your way to spiral back to me. Without you I never would have even looked to the clouds in the first place.

I won't get lost this time. I know the way up now. Let me teach you to fly, and we'll make a map to treasure... 

In addition to being a movement instructor, I'm an artist. Those things feed each other. Without my love for movement as art, my love for movement as science wouldn't exist. All the knowledge that I've gained about movement; the words I've shared over the past weeks about training, are lessons I've learned because of the path my love for this art has revealed. Here is some of what has inspired me most:

 

Pericles, dir. Kathryn Hunter, Shakespeare's Globe

 

Metamorphosis, dir. David Farr and Gìsli Örn Garðarsson, Lyric Hammersmith/Vesturport

 

Brief Encounter, dir. Emma Rice, Kneehigh Theatre

 

The Wild Bride, dir. Emma Rice, Kneehigh Theatre

 

The Hairy Ape, dir. Richard Jones, The Old Vic/Park Avenue Armory

 

 

 

What has inspired you??