A Post a Day

I’ve taken the last 6 months off from choreography so that I could finish my documentary, Gravity Hero. The film was such a big project that I was unable to complete it without giving it my full attention. It’s the longest I’ve gone without being in the studio, maybe since I took my first ballet class. So now I’m on an airplane heading to San Francisco to work with San Francisco Ballet and make a new pas de deux for their upcoming gala. I am walking into a personal frontier. I’ve never worked with this company before and six months is enough time to lose some of my associations with dance that would have been foregone in my thinking. I’m excited and maybe even terrified to think that this will be an new animal.

I found this paragraph I wrote in 2013 the day before I started making Pass, Away:

Boise 2013-01-13: Untitled work

I’m starting a new piece tomorrow, sitting at home wondering how I can possibly be prepared for the first day of something. Right now it is unencumbered and light as air. There is the fantasy in my head that I have never choreographed until tomorrow and I will discover what it is for the first time. After tomorrow, there will be a relationship to something. Something will have been created and there is a memory of the studio and what it is to make this piece. There will be a momentum as I tumble through discovery and disappointment. I will never know what this is again, to be on this side of this piece with no awareness of what is about to manifest.

I definitely still feel that absurd anticipation that there is a thing right now that is only the seed of an idea and it’s just in my own mind…and then in a few months it will be a fully-realized dance that has involved the professional capacities of so many people and will then be presented in front of thousands of people in a big, fancy theater. There is something about that that always seems impossible, but there is something new here. I forgot about dance for a little while. And most everything about this new work seems, well…new.

One thing that has also changed about me during this time is my willingness to be open as a person. I began as an artist being incredibly secretive about myself and my process. Then during the course of TMP, I worked hard to be as transparent as I could, but that still had to be in the service of the much larger PROJECT. But now that I do not have the responsibility of a speeding dance company, I’ve taken a difficult personal leap of trying to understand what it is to be and to communicate as “myself”. So in that spirit, I am going to endeavor to write a blog post every day of this process. This is not a promise to you or to myself. There are days in the choreographic process that can feel so ugly and broken and I know I will want to hide under a rock. I’m going to TRY on those days to stay open and share as much of that experience as I can. I love to hear your feedback and what comes up for you from these posts, so please comment and tell me what you are thinking.

10 Comments

  1. “Tell me what you are thinking”? So here’s what I am thinking: you are AMAZING. I can’t wait to be part of this journey.

  2. Great writing, Trey .I’m sure many of us Idahoans wish the SF Ballet could come here and show us the pas de deux. I grew up in New York (Nassau Country, Long Island) and was blessed by having a mom who had been dancing ballet in her childhood and youth. So we went to many performances of several companies. I was a modern dancer at Interlochen (Michigan) and continued to study in New York when I got home. That’s my bio–except I have been Jazzercising since 1981–dance will always be a part of me, too.

    1. Thank you! I miss Idaho greatly and hope to be able to return soon, if not with SF Ballet then for another good reason. Love that your mom exposed you to dance in a way that seems to have enriched your entire life.

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