I was laughing and crying as I left "company class" yesterday. (Dance Makers Workshop is not a company, but a community engine... nonetheless we host classes and they are kinda like company classes... chill but vigorous.) I reminded folks that DMW is hosting an open rehearsal on Saturday of "Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE,", and one of my good friends bowed her head sheepishly and asked if meat eaters were allowed at my showing. I sat there in astonishment! Then another one, who had brought eggs from her farm that many of us buy each week, piped in, "Yeah, what about meat farmers?" I'm sorry that I had no words for you just then. But here are a few.
I certainly don't knock on the door at Central BBQ and ask if I"m allowed entrance as a vegan! I go right in and order what I can. My eating choices don't define my audience range any more than yours do, beloved community. Keep that in mind.
But if you want me to promise to protect you from getting your feelings touched I can't. And I must tell you my feelings get hurt all the time--we are each sensitive in our own ways, and this world doesn't really care, does it? It all depends on how closely you need to guard your inputs in order to maintain your comfort level. I respect you completely.
What you can expect: a heartfelt and humorous engagement with the art of herding an animal. And I'd add, this piece is super duper child-friendly. I hope you'll bring your wee ones.
And I promise I won't bite you, as long as you return the favor my loves.
Kimberly, I'm sorry about the hasty reply I gave you! And the fact that I am going to use this opportunity to write a blog entry for my website WHILST responding to you, bodacious being.
So in a nutshell, this piece we are developing is a vignette within a larger creative work called Meat Space Diaries, an accumulating performance work that looks at relationships through the lens of agriculture and meat production. I was lucky to get to know 10 pigs that were being raised for meat in Proctor AR, and that experience inspired me to take a closer look at America's relationships to the actual labor that goes into their consumption requirements and preferences, and how casually we turn a blind eye to what is actually a very intimate, perhaps even graphic and certainly quite meaningful step-by-step process.
For this 14-minute scored improvisation, called ODE, I am collaborating with Nat and Bethany (and you?) to give viewers some insight into the dynamics in play when farmers 'herd' an animal to new pastures. On the farm this was always an utterly entertaining spectacle, and quite touching to participate in. This piece is a bit of a 'riff' off of that idea while still endeavoring constantly to keep true to the ambiguous role played by all the parties in situations of animal husbandry. Then, of course, it turns into a bit of tongue-in-cheek revelry--bittersweet revelry I think... :-)
Anyway, I hope this piques your interest. I would love your eyes; and if I can have more I'd love your body too! :-) We only have one more rehearsal, so we could try 'teaching' you the score, which would be great practice for me because in Portland, I have to fill two of the parts with new cast on the DAY OF the performance, so the score needs to be translatable for a new person.
Please holler any questions or initial thoughts, or just let me know YAY or NAY to:
Saturday July 11 12-2pm work=through: watch or jump in
Saturday July 18 4-5pm attend the showing and perhaps facilitate feedback if you are interested
Location: Living Hope enormous gym sanctuary at 815 North McLean
Big hugs and much gratitude for your consideration dear.
Friends, Bethany Wells Bak, Nat Newburger and I are shaping up "Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE" for its premiere at the Body Mind Centering Association's North American Conference on July 23 in Portland Oregon. This piece of the larger work investigates the relationships created by agricultural practices. In particular, the relationship between the herded and the herder.
We met in Living Hope's "gymtuary" space last Saturday, an enormous gym space lit by huge windows, 50 foot ceilings, and all the room we could hope for was ours.
I've just cast a colleague from my days at St. Mary's school, Maesie Speere. We performed in TROJAN WOMEN when we were 16 and 17, she was Hecuba and I was Andromache. WHAT A HOOT!!
more to come...
I revisited my nest for the first time in over a week today. It was hard! A bit like cracking an egg if I had gathered it myself and it had been bright turquoise. I couldn't bring myself to step in there, it was formidable.
I took 7 breaths in the median, inside my ochre yarns which were sagging from the freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. I mushed the now muddy ground and stared hard at what was going on above me and below me. I still couldn't stand to look out at my fellow human beings driving past on either side.
I find myself coming back to the term 'in medias res' lately, particularly because my nest happens to be in the median, just right there in the thick of things. I wonder why it turned out that way, that my nest should be there and not somewhere else. I do believe there's something about working in the middle of things. Picking up my attention all at once and dropping it suddenly there, with all my might. I don't know.
So the next 10 days I'll be quick to enter and as quick to exit; if you drive by, please honk and wave. I could use a little nudge coming out of this shell, no matter how turquoise or hand-gathered.