Self/Indulgent

I am in a dance piece this Friday and Saturday at Salvage Vanguard. I’ve mentioned that I have a mercurial relationship with movement, both loving it and also fearing the process of actually doing it. Dance was my first language, in part because my father was a prolific composer and often played music for me to perform to when I was small, and also because I think movement and rhythm is everyone’s first language. The body is where we begin and the body let’s us expand our reach first with movement, then sound, then words, then technologies and media.

I went to rehearsal on Saturday at this amazing studio, a hidden garden for artists, a space surrounded by trees and metal-work gates. A space with wood floors and mirrors and lights and room enough for anyone to create. As I expected, I felt shy and unsure of myself…me…in a dance studio, a space imbued with much meaning for me. But as I began to warm up first with traditional stretches and then by just rolling on the floor, I had this thought….Why don’t I do this more?

Why don’t I do this thing, this thing that is pleasurable?

I kept those thoughts in mind as we moved through the various pieces and scores of the work, growing more and more in tune with myself.

I don’t do this thing because I think it is self indulgent. I don’t often get massages, or dance, or even buy music.

I think one of the reasons I love rehearsals so much is because it is a way to be self indulgent (in terms of performing) but you “have” to do it so the show will work. Producing involves giving out a lot of attention-emails, phone calls, lists, checking and double checking and it’s heady mental work. Dancing? It in many ways requires that you get the hell out of your head.

Which feels self indulgent. Just to enjoy the body.

And I had this realization that art has to be self/indulgent. One has to indulge in one’s self, mind and body, in order to create. So, I’m going to just make that a goal this year, to indulge in physical things that create that connection to creation in me.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Self/Indulgent

  1. Ann

    Your goal for this year is sublime! I too started my artistic journey as a dancer. I love to dance to this day, but as a producer, I do spend a great deal of time “holding it all together”! You have inspired me to move more…come to Amsterdam and let’s get some primal ritualistic erotic movement going!

  2. Christopher Petkus

    Yes, do that.

    See you at rehearsal tonight!

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