The end of a ballet is like being still drunk when the party has ended and everyone has gone home.
No, that’s not exactly right. It’s more like the end of a relationship. My reality has not only accommodated the life of another person, in love, but there have been negotiations and new building everywhere. My full creativity was employed to make the impossible happen: that two different people with two never mergeable sets of eyeballs, could come together to walk along side by side without tripping on each other’s step. There exists the depth of pain and the height of joy because building this possibility was for something so grand and so worth it.
And then when it’s over, I am left with dozens of outstretched arms, feelings of skin, and dangling anchors below the surf. Until the knots can feel un-tied, until the accomodations can be resorted into where they will now go, there are just the empty spaces.
Sinking into a hole is a necessary part for me in coming off the speedtrain of making a dance. There’s no fighting it. If I skip it, the darkness becomes my new dance. It partners me until I embrace its misery. This is not only rest and recovery, it is suffering.
I think I write from this period often. So much so that my friends have started reaching out to me to make sure I am ok. Though much repetition, I have come to the place that I plan for it and I accept it. It is one of the prices of being able to experience the deep sea dives and the roller coasters of creating art.
Making The Boogeyman for BalletX was a particularly great experience for me. The dance I set out to make looks more than before like the one I eventually made. There were challenges that I knew I had from the beginning and I committed to them without knowing if I could master them. And the outcomes varied from great success to missing the mark, but I was never not fed in the attempt. It took all of my capacity and all of my bravery to stay in it, to be battered by it, and trust that failure was a worthy option all while being utterly committed.
Then came the performances. I sat back and watched the dancers thrive and grow without me. I felt pride and melancholy. Those creative engines had been firing non-stop in something that fed me at all levels. My heart seemed to beat faster every day. I knew, somewhere buried inside me were the perfect, least fettered attributes to contribute and create with love. I endeavored something that was worth it, and now it’s over.
So I take a few days and feel the agony of loss and make the unanswerable cries of longing. Where once a wire was connected to make something activate in the most tremendous way, it’s now just a frayed end, emitting a useless spark.
There’s nothing to do but sleep, if I can. To stare at the ceiling, draw the shades, watch television. There is nothing to do but allow the passing of time.
And then when enough of it has ticked away, I let some light back in, talk to a human, go for a run, get a massage. I invest the tiny, daily expressions of caring for and believing in my unique path.
Things begin to organize themselves. I remember where the things of me went before I made a ballet and the new places they can go after what I’ve learned. There was nothing wrong in the journey of making it, there was nothing wrong in mourning its end. The qualities of life happened just how they would, and perhaps, if you believe in that kind of thing, how they must.
And then all of a sudden, one day, I breathe out; I relax. I’m no longer attached to something that doesn’t exist anymore and in fact I feel the relief of no longer having to conquer it’s challenges, of knowing that it is finished and I can finally be in this moment, now. The feeling of freedom blows through me like my body is made of vents, and I need air to survive like a fish’s gills beg for water. I’m full of ideas. I’m at the moment where I can choose any direction that I like and from a whole world of possibility, a world of endless creativity, endless generation of love, endless possibility.
So, a message to all of you dear sweet friends who reach out to check on me: Thank you for your loving, sweet attention. And I’ll be ok.