Well. Student Dance Concert of Spring 2014 is over. It’s been a good run.
Last night, opening night for the second showing (the one my piece was in), went smoothly. It wasn’t an all-time-best performance, on my part, but it went really, really well. Everyone I talked to loved the piece. So I’m calling that good.
Tonight, final performance, was…probably the best my fellow dancer, Katie, and I have ever danced the piece. Our choreographer, the beautiful and talented Maribeth, agrees. I think it was pretty smashing.
I don’t believe I ever really posted here about the SDC piece that has been taking up every bit of free time in my life for the past many weeks. And I’m not going to tell you much about it now, either. I don’t have time (still have all of tomorrow’s homework to complete before bed, and a whole lot of thinking to do after that which will keep me awake even longer), and any description won’t do it justice. But the basic premise is the Creation story of Genesis 2 and 3. Basically I’m Adam and Katie is Eve and we screw up and there’s no way around it. But the piece is brilliant. Maribeth can work wonders with choreography. I’ve wanted to be in something created by her ever since I saw her dance for the first time in Sacred. I’m so glad I got to. =) The process of learning this piece has been lovely, and I’ll miss our rehearsals.
It’s done now. The performances. Post-Performance Depression is only kicking in as much as it ever does. Don’t worry, I’ll be dandy by tomorrow morning. When I have to wake up at some ungodly hour to finish homework and scamper off to class. It’s just sad when something you’ve invested nearly every spare minute in for so long is suddenly over in the blink of an eye and two short performances. You know how it is.
Mainly, though, I’m just sad because there wasn’t really anyone there to watch me. Selfish, I know. Kinda silly, too. But true nonetheless. I miss having my family here to watch me dance and bring me flowers and stop at a gas station on the way home for ice cream. It’s just a tradition, and it doesn’t get to happen anymore.
Not that there wasn’t anyone there at all to see me. I know a lot of the dancers here, at least at the level of acquaintance, and a lot of them were there last night, and tonight as well. They all gave me hugs and told me I was wonderful, and all the normal things. But still. That doesn’t change the fact that most everyone left surrounded by either family or friends, and I walked back to my dark, empty dorm room alone. Even my roommate is missing. It’ll take me a while yet to get used to that alone-ness. It’s a learning process.
But it’s all right. =)
I’m really confused now, though. Because so many people reacted to my performance in a way I completely did not expect. By “my performance” I don’t mean the piece as a whole…I mean to me, personally. My dancing. Two people said they’d never seen me dance like that before. Someone said they really hoped Julie, our ballet teacher, saw the piece because I was a different Anna up on stage than I’ve ever been in Ballet III at eight in the morning with my hair in a lop-sided, half-asleep bun. Another person said something along the lines of, “I can’t believe it…you really came out of your shell.”
All good things. Good reactions. But confusing. And I don’t know what to make of it. Because here I am, losing hope for me and dance ever working out in the same sentence. Here I am, watching everyone else run their pieces and wondering if I’ll ever be half as good as any of the other dancers. Here I am thinking inadequate thoughts (which isn’t good or true) and wrestling with finding a place for dance in my life if there even is one (which is valid and necessary).
And then all the sudden, over the past two days, two things have suddenly thrown themselves at me. One, I can take on someone else’s artistic vision and work their choreography into my body and take part of their deepest self into me, and then turn around and perform it as though it is my own vision and choreography and self. I can present my own heart through the work of someone else. And two (and this is another story for another time),I can create something good of my own. I can put my heart and soul into my own choreography, and show it to people, and have it be enough, and not be rejected or just passed off.
And it’s really confusing to me right now, because I’ve always called myself a ballet dancer but I don’t even enjoy those classes anymore, and I’ve always said I’m no good at things like Jazz or Modern or Lyrical dance but that’s what comes out when I try to put my deepest self into movement. And I’ve always said I can’t choreograph, I don’t know how, it’s too hard or scary or vulnerable, but all the sudden that’s all I really want to do.
I guess it’s a good confusion, then.
But I don’t know what to do with myself anymore, because I seem to have two different identities now, in more places than just dance, and I can’t reconcile them, and I don’t know which one is right or if one is wrong or which one is real and which one is false or how to choose between them or if I even should.
And I’d kind of like to know that. Because not knowing who you are anymore is slippery and uncomfortable. And not knowing who you will be next week, or next month, or next year, is frightening.
Sometimes I find myself wondering if anyone, ever, really finds out who they are, or if they chose the right self to be.
And I’ll stop now because it’s nearly eleven o’clock and I have so much left to do and so much left to think about before I can sleep. Sorry, friends. Like I said. Self-diagnosed mild post-performance depression. It does weird things to me. And when you’re kind of lonely too, it’s just a bad combination. I’ll be good by morning, though. Sunlight always makes it easier to forget about the difficult things and just smile. =)
I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.