MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

MFA right

 

Confessions of an MFA: Day 3 – Thriller, Breakdowns, and Gingerbread Lattes

 

I read once that it takes the average person four months before they feel at home after moving into a new house or apartment.  I remember thinking how long that seemed.  I’ve always been someone who, once the boxes are unpacked, I feel like I am at home.  Perhaps it’s my lack of sentiment, or perhaps it’s my obsession with unpacking just overwhelms any other feelings I might have, but even in this last move, crossing over state lines, the house felt like ours right away.  Now, the city, that was a different story, but at least at the house, I felt like I was at home.

This past week was one of those weeks – the kind where, by Thursday, you get home from your day and just sit down in the middle of the hallway because the couch is just too far away.  Between my car breaking down on the freeway and my students practically vibrating from all of the Halloween candy, it felt like nothing could go right.  Yet, each night I got home, I felt great.  In fact, I felt better than I’ve felt since getting to Denver.

Of course, this made me feel stressed out.  Completely counterintuitive, I know – I was so baffled as to why I was feeling great when I was in the middle of the week that wouldn’t end that I felt like, of course, I had to be missing something.  What was wrong with me?  Was I a masochist?  Am I just completely motivated by stress?  Had I finally crossed over to the other side of crazy?  And then it struck me – it all felt so normal.  For the first time since moving, I felt normal.

Now, I think we can all agree that dancer normal is just not the same as other people’s normal.  Our sense of a typical day is just different than others.  Our weeks are filled with surprises: walking into your performance space to find it’s actually a circular stage ; giving a lecture about how we go to the bathroom before dance class only to have one of your students wet his or her pants halfway through barre; having a costume tear moments before going onstage and desperately hunting for safety pins, tape, glue, anything that will hold the seam together.  Our days are unpredictable, and I have come to rely on those surprises as my norm.

What I realized this week is that it’s not adjusting to my new schedule that has made me so uneasy the past few months.  Rather, it’s been my lack of confidence that I can handle all of the surprises that come along in my week.  But this past week, I had answers.  I knew my local mechanic where I could send my car.  I knew that I had the freedom to give up on trying to teach my classes on Halloween and just put on Thriller.  I even knew which coffee shop I could go to for a pick-me-up gingerbread latte.  And having those answers made me feel normal again – that I was having a typical week once again.

It’s this confidence that I’ve been missing in my new home.  Having to use a map to find the nearest Target, I felt like a visitor, and visitors don’t have answers to solve the everyday problems that arise in a new place.  But, when I woke up Friday morning of this crazy week, I felt comfortable.  I felt like I was at home. I looked at the calendar this morning and realized we have been living in our new city for exactly four months and two days.  I guess that study had some merit after all.

 

HeadShot2012Mary Grimes is a dancer, choreographer, writer, teacher, and working artist living in the Bay Area.  Since receiving her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Mills College, she has started working as a dance writer and critique, writing for such magazines as Dance and Dance Studio Life.  She has had to opportunity to work with accomplished choreographers including Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Molissa Fenley, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.  Her choreographer has been presented nationally.  In the future, Mary hopes to continue her work as a dance writer and is excited to see where this path will take her.

Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

What if the whole world stopped to dance???

dance anywhere® is a simultaneous worldwide public art performance and we want YOU to join us on March 28th!

For the 10th year of dance anywhere!

Where will you be?

At work? Taking a lunch break? In class? Running an errand? In line at the bank? The library? The grocery store? Walking the dog in the park?… Perfect! Your participation doesn’t need to be an event you plan months in advance! … Tap your foot, do a little jig, bob your head… You have our permission. And you will be joined by thousands around the world. Get together with your friends, family, colleagues or strangers on the street – wherever you will be – and have some fun!

Price: FREE!!! (Unless you’re in line for something)

 

Willkommen Y’All!!

March 28, 29 and 30

Tomball, TX near 201 S. Elm St., Main St. (FM 2920) and Market St

You do not have to be German to enjoy this festival.

It is a Music/Street festival celebrating German and ethnic heritage with 5 stages of live music entertainment “happy music for happy people”, special contest, ethnic and festival food, beer, wine, 175 street vendors, all kinds of German souvenirs and clothing, arts crafts, antiques, Heritage Center, carnival, pony ride, petting zoo, strolling music makers, street performers, and much more.

Price: Admission, parking and shuttle are FREE!

 

All You Can Bowl

March 25, 2014 – September 02, 2014 (Every Tuesday) from 8-midnight

925 Bunker Hill, Houston, TX 77024

BowlMor is featuring another great promotion Tuesday through Thursday. All You Can Bowl $17.00 per person, including shoes. Join us each week, for a strikingly different experience.

Price: $17.00

 

Asia Society Presents! River of Light, An Original HGOco Opera

March 29, 2014 at  7:30 pm an additional performance Sunday, March 30, 2 pm

Asia Society Texas Center

Having moved from India, Meera loves her new husband, her high-powered job, and the Houston lifestyle—until the birth of her daughter makes her long to recreate authentic Diwali traditions at home. Music by Jack Perla. Libretto by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

Price: $15

 

Bayou City Art Festival

March 28, 2014 – March 30, 2014 from 10am-6pm

Memorial Park – Memorial Drive at S. Picnic Lane

6501 1/2 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007

It doesn’t matter what your art style is, you are sure to find something you like at The Annual Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park. This fine, juried art festival transforms the 1.1 – mile trail of the park into a one-of-a-kind outdoor gallery.

Fine juried art by 300 artists representing 17 media formats, including clay (decorative and functional), digital (not photography), drawing/pastel, fiber/textiles, furniture (functional), glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media 2-D, mixed media 3-D, painting (acrylic or oil), painting (watercolor), photography (digital or computer manipulated), photography (traditional), printmaking and sculpture (3-D).

In addition to the extensive selection of art, representing 18 different forms of artistic media, festival goers can also enjoy international food and wine, the Green Mountain Energy Creative Zone offering interactive art activities, daily outdoor performances and more. The Festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of Houston and enriches the city’s arts environment and reputation. Over the past 40 years, the Bayou City Art Festivals have raised more than $2.6 million for local nonprofit organizations.

Price: $15

 

Blue Box Theater Live Smooth Music Thursday’s

Every Thursday from 6p.m. – 11p.m.

Blue Box Theater
2020 Leeland, Houston, TX 77003

Every Thursday, head to Blue Box Theater for live smooth jazz band and complimentary wine tasting. Happy hour is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the first drink on the house. Located conveniently in the EaDo District near downtown Houston and just two minutes distance from the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Price: $10

Eat Well Wednesday: Cinnamon Raisin Bites

Eat Well Wednesday

0

 

Love oatmeal cookies? These bite sized treats are perfect for YOU!

Cinnamon-Raisin-Dessert-Bites

What you need:

  • 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter, smooth
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Flax Seed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • White Chocolate to drizzle, optional
How you do it:

  • Warm peanut butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl for about 20-30 seconds or until soft.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  • Place in the fridge and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Roll into bite sized balls.
  • Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  • Drizzle over the cinnamon raisin bites and let set.
 
0-1Jill Wentworth is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful. Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health. In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA(San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life. Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.

Tuesday Tunes: Leslie Caron

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes


This Tuesday we are spotlighting the elegant and charming…

              Leslie Caron!

 

Unfortunately, Hollywood considers musical dancers as hoofers. Regrettable expression.

French ballet dancer Leslie Caron was discovered by the legendary MGM star Gene Kelly during his search for a co-star in one of the finest musicals ever filmed, the Oscar-winning An American in Paris (1951), which was inspired by and based on the music of George Gershwin. Leslie’s gamine looks and pixie-like appeal would be ideal for Cinderella-type rags-to-riches stories, and Hollywood made fine use of it. Combined with her fluid dancing skills, she became one of the top foreign musical artists of the 1950s, while her triple-threat talents as a singer, dancer and actress sustained her long after musical film’s “Golden Age” had passed.

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron was born in France on July 1, 1931. Her father, Claude Caron, was a French chemist, and her American-born mother, Margaret Petit, had been a ballet dancer back in the States during the 1920s. Leslie herself began taking dance lessons at age 11. She was on holidays at her grandparents’ estate near Grasse when the Allies landed on the 15th of August 1944. After the German rendition, she and her family went to Paris to live. There she attended the Convent of the Assumption and started ballet training. While studying at the National Conservatory of Dance, she appeared at age 14 in “The Pearl Diver,” a show for children where she danced and played a little boy. At age 16, she was hired by the renowned Roland Petit to join the Ballet des Champs-Elysees, where she was immediately given solo parts.

Leslie’s talent and reputation as a dancer had already been recognized when on opening night of Petit’s 1948 ballet “La Rencontre,” which was based on the theme of Orpheus and featured the widely-acclaimed dancer ‘Jean Babilee’, she was seen by then-married Hollywood couple Gene Kelly and Betsy Blair. Leslie did not meet the famed pair at the end of the show that night as the 17-year-old went home dutifully right after her performance, but one year later Kelly remembered Leslie’s performance when he returned to Paris in search for a partner for his upcoming movie musical An American in Paris (1951). The rest is history.

 

Lise – An American in Paris (1951)

 

 Daddy Long Legs (1955) – Sluefoot – Leslie Caron & Fred Astaire

 

Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron- An American in Paris

 

 

Fun Facts About Miss Leslie Caron

 

One of the few actresses to have danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in the movies, other actresses that have also done this includes Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Debbie Reynolds, and Rita Hayworth.

Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980

Was president of the jury at the ‘Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin’ in 1989.

For Peter Hall’s 30th birthday her present was – simply – a Rolls Royce.

Returned to work 3 months after giving birth to her son Christopher Hall to begin filming Gigi (1958).

Received the 2,394th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [December 2009].

Once romantically linked (1995-1996) to handsome “Laredo” actor Robert Wolders who married older actress Merle Oberon and was the companion of older actress Audrey Hepburn until her death in 1993. Leslie is five years older than Wolders.

She and her daughter, Jennifer Caron Hall, co-starred on an episode of The Love Boat (1977), in the parts of mother and daughter, both con artists, engaged in fleecing millionaires.

 

MFA Monday: What’s the Magic Word?

MFA Mondays

Happy Monday, Framers!

 

Confessions of an MFA: Day 2 – The Magic Word

 

For most people, we hear the phrase what’s the magic word and immediately think of childhood.  Of course I remember robotically adding please to every question I posed, just in the hopes of avoiding the inevitable question that was sure to come if I didn’t say it.  As I get older, though, and continue to explore this crazy world of dance, I am starting to think that perhaps my mom was actually mistaken.  Please isn’t the magic word.  It’s a great word and one that should certainly stay in everyone’s vocabulary.  But the word that actually carries magic for me is one that is much shorter, yet so much harder to say.  No.

I have always been the queen of yes, especially when it comes to dance.  It has never been uncommon to find me, Sunday afternoon, in a princess dress, teaching the two year old birthday girl how to do a plié, and absolutely emitting bitterness that I didn’t have the ability to say no.  I feel like it is engrained in me to say yes first, think later.  It’s certainly a personality flaw – although, I have to say, I don’t think the years of being drilled with the rules of dance class etiquette helped any.  Every dancer I know is a yes person.  How else would post modern have come to be?  Respect it though I do, can you imagine the first meeting with your choreographer describing the piece?

Moving out to a new city and looking for new teaching positions, this yes tendency of mine has been in full effect.  Being the overly organized personality type that I am, I decided the only way to solve this problem was to create a no checklist based on all of the clues I should have paid attention to in the past when talking with potential employers.  If an offer had a “no” answer to any of the questions, I gave myself permission to say that magic little word.  Here is a section from my “Not For Me Checklist,” as I titled it

Continue reading

Links We Like!

Links We Like

          FRIDAY IS HERE!!!

 

 

Things You Did As A Kid That Your Kids Will Never Do

http://blog.chron.com/momhouston/2014/03/things-you-did-as-a-kid-that-your-kids-will-never-do/?cmpid=lifestylehcat#21657101=19

 

Slightly Weird But Really Cool! 

http://blog.petflow.com/i-had-no-idea-they-did-this-ultra-slow-motion-shows-something-truly-fascinating-about-dogs/

 

If You Haven’t Already Seen This…All Three of You…WOW!

 

 Even Animals Love Playing in Puddles

 

 

Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

4th Annual Kemah Crawfish Festival

March 21, 2014 – March 23, 2014 at Friday 5pm – 11pm, Saturday 12pm – 11pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Kemah Boardwalk

The freshest and best tasting Crawfish in the world for only $3.50 per pound! Featuring Wayne Toups Saturday Evening Concert.  Ice cold beer, Your favorite wines and great food!

Price:  $8

2014 Mural: The People’s Plate, Otabenga Jones & Associates

February 28, 2014 – January 10, 2015

Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

 

Through a collaborative art project/public health program, Otabenga Jones & Associates will attempt to mitigate the ongoing health crisis of obesity and its related risks. The Collective will create a public mural at the Lawndale Art Center along with a series of adjacent programs, kicking off a year-long commitment to health education. Programs will include cooking classes, a foraging workshop, an urban gardening workshop, an instructional cooking video and a line of mass produced lunchboxes that will be made available to the public. Inspired by the Black Panther Free Breakfast for School Children Program, which saw the Panthers cooking and serving breakfast to poor inner city children, the Collective aims to provide at-risk community members with a set of tools that will encourage self-sufficiency and empowerment in terms of maintaining their own health through food choices, while building community.

Price: Free!!!

Texas Rose Festival

Saturday, March 22 at 10:15 am

Cornelius Nursery

The Texas Rose Festival is at 2233 S. Voss and 1200 N. Dairy Ashford.

Do you love all things roses? Get tips for plant selection, planting advice, and rose care guidance. A rose expert will be on hand at the Voss location 1 pm – 3 pm.

Price: Free!

Williams-Sonoma In-Store Cooking Classes

 

Williams-Sonoma offers free in-store cooking and technique classes.  Sundays are typically tech class days. Just in time for summer, June has an American BBQ theme, focusing on different regions around the country. The June Technique classes will feature recipes for regional food and drinks, along with tips for setting an outdoor table. These technique classes are free, but reservations are recommended to reserve your spot.

Price: Free!!!

Thursdays At The Museum Of Fine Arts

Visit the Museum of Fine arts every Thursday for free admission from 10am – 9pm. The first municipal art museum in Texas is most well known for its Impressionist and Post- Impressionist art, and also included a Baroque and Renaissance art, African tribal art, and a stellar sculpture garden.

Price: Free!!!

 

 

 

Eat Well Wednesday: Blueberry Muffins!

Eat Well Wednesday

0

              Love blueberry muffins?

 

With berries fresh in season right now, it is the perfect opportunity to whip up these little blueberry treats for you and your family!

Thanks to the applesauce, we are able to omit some of the saturated fat from traditional oil used in baking.  These muffins also have some whole grain benefits thanks to the whole wheat flour that replaces the traditional white flour.

These would be a perfect snack or part of a healthy breakfast.  Bake up a batch, freeze them, pull them out as you need them.  Pair with some greek yogurt and almonds and you have a perfect well balanced breakfast that will fuel you through your morning.

 

small

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups Low fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cups Light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce, unsweet
  • 1 cup Mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 1/4 cup White whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup Blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 2 large eggs

 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare 12 muffin liners in muffin tin or spray tin with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sugar, applesauce, eggs and bananas in a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Carefully fold in blueberries

Divide batter out into muffin tins and sprinkle the tops with a few extra blueberries

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.Now it’s time to ENJOY!!

 
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

 

 

0-1Jill Wentworth is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful. Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health. In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA(San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life. Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.

Tuesday Tunes: Michael Flatley!

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

 Today is the final day of our St. Patrick’s Day

celebration and what better way to end it than with…

 

 

The Lord of the Dance: Michael Flatley!

 

 

I will be a dancer until the day I die

 

Flatley is a native of the South Side of Chicago.  He is of Irish American background, being born to Irish parents. He began dancing lessons at 12 and, in 1975, became the first non-European resident to win the World Championship for Irish dance. He is a trained amateur pugilist as well as a proficient flautist, having twice won the All-Ireland Competition. In dance, Flatley was taught by Dennis Dennehy at the Dennehy School of Irish Dance in Chicago, then went on to produce his own show. After graduating from Brother Rice High School, on Chicago’s Southwest Side, he opened a dance school.

Flatley created and choreographed the original Riverdance and led the show to great success as the intermission act in the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. Flatley then starred in the full-length show that was developed from the seven-minute number.

After the show’s first run in London, Flatley left Riverdance in late 1995 due to problems over creative control. He then produced, directed, and choreographed Lord of the Dance, which played mostly in arenas and stadiums instead of theaters. He also put together a dance production called Feet of Flames in 1998. He later went on to produce another version of that show with around 50% different numbers from the 1998 show. Titled Feet of Flames: The Victory Tour, he toured Europe in 2000 and the U.S. in 2001.

In December 2001, Flatley became the first recipient of the Irish Dancing Commission Fellowship award, an honorary degree in Irish dance, and was simultaneously made a Fellow of the American Irish Dance Teachers’ Association. Irish America magazine named Flatley Irish American of the Year in March 2003. In 2004, Flatley received an honorary doctorate degree from University College Dublin, and that same year received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York.

Flately’s latest Irish dance show is Celtic Tiger, which opened in July 2005. The show explores the history of the Irish people and Irish emigration to the U.S., fusing a wide range of dance styles, including jazz. The show also includes popular elements from his previous shows, such as Flatley’s flute solos and the line of dancers in the finale.

In 2007, The Freedom of the City of Cork was conferred on Flatley at a ceremony in Cork’s City Hall. In 2008, he was conferred with the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo at a ceremony in Sligo City Hall. The Variety Club of Ireland presented Flatley with their Entertainer of the Decade Award in 2008.

In the fall of 2007, Flatley and a troupe of male dancers performed on Dancing with the Stars in the U.S. In 2008, he appeared as a guest judge on an episode of the show, filling in for Len Goodman. Also in 2008, he performed the solo “Capone” from Celtic Tiger on the show. Flatley was also the host of the 2009 NBC series Superstars of Dance.

Flatley returned to the stage in 2009 for a limited run of the “Hyde Park” version of Feet of Flames in Taiwan. His return was met with multiple standing ovations and the run of shows had to be extended to meet the demand for tickets.

In 2010, he returned to headline the Lord of the Dance show, with performances in arenas across England and Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Lord of the Dance 3D, the film of the return tour, debuted in theaters worldwide in 2011.

Also in 2010, Flatley launched The Garden of Music and Memory in Culfadda, County Sligo, the village his father left to seek a new life in America. The ceremony included a speech and an impromptu performance of one of his father’s favorite tunes.

In 2011, he was inducted into Irish America magazine’s Irish America Hall of Fame.

Flatley released a flute album titled On A Different Note in 2011. The 25 tracks include airs and tunes he has played in his shows, other traditional tunes, and new compositions.

 

 

Rivedance! Seven minutes that started in all at the 1994 EuroVision Song Contest

 

Feet of Flames Solo 1998 London

 

Dancing with the Stars 2008

 

Fun Facts About Mr. Michael Flatley 

 

Flatley was the first American to win the World Irish Dance Championships and he also won numerous All-Ireland Flute Championships.

From 1978 to 1979 he toured with Green Fields of America, and in the 1980s he toured with The Chieftains.

He received the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship in 1988.

In May 1989, Flatley set a Guinness Book world record for tapping speed at 28 taps per second.

Flatley was named one of National Geographic Society’s Living Treasures in 1991 for mastery of a traditional art form by a living person – the youngest person at that time ever to receive this accolade.

Flatley broke his own record for tapping speed in February 1998, by achieving 35 taps per second.

Flatley also received Guinness Book recognition in both 1999 and 2000 for being the highest paid dancer, earning $1,600,000 per week and for having the highest insurance policy placed on a dancer’s legs at $40,000,000.

MFA Mondays

MFA Mondays

MFA right

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Framers!

 

Confessions of an MFA: Day 1

 

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about connections in dance and the dance community.  I’ve come to the conclusion that, really, the relationship between a dancer and company, a teacher and school, an artist and product, all follow the path of a romance.  First, there’s a honeymoon phase – everything is exciting and new, every word spoken is brilliant, every action is appealing.  Then you stumble upon your first fight.  Suddenly, those parts that were once so endearing are now incredibly irritating and need to change right now.  Finally, you settle into a comfort with each other, knowing and accepting the quirks and, hopefully, making each other a little bit better.

Such has been the nature of my relationship with dance.  It feels as though there are constantly parts of me in each phase of the relationship, continuously cycling between fighting with each other and comforting each other.  We break up and get back together.  It’s a messy and confusing relationship, and perhaps not always the most healthy one.  But when it’s good, it’s so good, and so I can’t let it go.

About six months ago, I made a decision that, many days, feels like the craziest one I have ever made.  Without a job or a plan in place, I packed up an oversized Uhaul, attached my car to the hitch, and drove across six state lines to move from the Bay Area to Denver, Colorado.

For many people, this would be a big deal, you probably should have done it sooner situation.  For me, the queen of planning, organizing, and budgeting, this was an epic, earth shattering life change, one which I did not handle particularly gracefully.  There was a great deal of time spent crying into a blanket, staring longing at a bottle of wine and realizing it was only 1 pm on a Tuesday, and so opening it was not acceptable.  I think I probably said “I’m getting on a plane back home tomorrow!” at least ten times.

In this haze of tears and wine (although it didn’t get opened at 1 pm, it certainly was opened eventually), I started to reflect on what exactly it was that I was missing so intensely.  Of course I missed my friends and family and knowing my way around.  But what truly lay at the core of my sadness was that I felt so alone.  I no longer had a community of any kind that I belonged to, and that was something I hadn’t ever experienced.

As an artist, our community is my inspiration.  The work that my friends, colleagues, and mentors are doing is what motivates me to do the work that I am doing.  Without being a part of that community in a new city, I felt completely devoid of stimulation, devoid of creativity.  I felt alone with my tumultuous relationship with dance.

I came to the realization that the dance community is my web of well-being.  They are the people that I go to when I want to sing the praises of dance and when I need to vent on how dance has treated me.  They are, for lack of a better description, my girlfriends.  And even though our community may not always be in the honeymoon phase, I think we always reach a place of comfort and support.

Slowly, as the months have passed, I am starting to find my dance community here.  It’s certainly not something that can be forced, but something that I can keep trying to build and develop.  It’s a new relationship and I just hope to hold off our first fight for as long as possible.

 

—————————

Mary Grimes is a dancer, choreographer, writer, teacher, and working artist living in the Bay Area.  Since receiving her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Mills College, she has started working as a dance writer and critique, writing for such magazines as Dance and Dance Studio Life.  She has had to opportunity to work with accomplished choreographers including Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Molissa Fenley, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.  Her choreographer has been presented nationally.  In the future, Mary hopes to continue her work as a dance writer and is excited to see where this path will take her.