Reflections by Denise Wilborn
Denise Wilborn, cast member of LOVE ME, reflects on seeing the film the first time:
Step. Step. The first time I saw our film, I did not know what to expect.
My sister was there. Friends from work were there that night. What would
they think? Would they see me somehow differently? Was this endeavor,
digging up my experiences of love, too personal and too tender to share with
the world? I was pretty much on pins and needles during my first viewing.
What words did Lydia select from my reflections? Which of my movements or
phrases of choreography did she keep? What of me was pruned and left on the
“cutting room” floor? As I relaxed, I saw not the isolated pieces of 13
dancers’ movements and words, but rather the whole we created together as we
quickly transformed through trust into a dynamic creative community. My
words blended with Loueva’s words and Donna’s words and Neil’s words.
Alex’s stretch complimented Norola’s reach complimented my bend. A story
mosaic unfolded as the myriad of dance expressions and word utterances
became, not my story, but rather, our story. I was not alone on the big
screen. We were up there together.
Turn. Lift. The second night my husband of 29 years was in the audience.
He supported me in so many ways in my previous dance life. He seldom saw me
from a comfortable seat in the audience because he was back stage cuing
lights, pulling curtains, and dodging dancers. Never had we sat
side-by-side at any of my dance concerts. Tonight was different. How
intimate. How close. This night I watched ‘Love Me’ with different eyes as
I saw nuances I missed the night before, of word, dance, and story. I
listened more closely to my friends’ reflections, my friends hearts. I
heard the sadness, disappointment, challenge, and joy love brings each day
to our lives. I also closely watched my husband. What was he thinking?
What was he wondering? Did he know he is the reason I could, can, risk
words and steps each and every day? From the screen came my words, “You are
firecracker red, intense, sparkling, bright against the dark, fiercely
faithful, brilliant, alive.” Did he hear my words and know they are his?
Recover. The third time I watched ‘Love Me’ I was excited, relaxed,
comforted, and knowing. Or so I thought. Another friend joined me, unable
to be there for the previous screenings. One of the 13 dancers was seeing
our film for the first time. As I experienced their initial reactions, I
realized how unique each of us is as dancer, artist, person. We all bring a
personal collage of expectations, perceptions, beliefs, emotions, and
experiences into the theater. While we all viewed the same film, each of us
answered back according to ourselves. We all try to make sense of life, and
love, in many different ways. Everything old is new again.
Repeat. I will be there again. Same film. Same words. Same dance. Same
dancers. Different space. Different audience. I wonder what I will come
away with this time? I wonder whose words will touch me? I wonder who in
the audience will be encouraged, challenged, to trust, dance, write, create,
and love? I wonder…