Me and My Life (Profesh and Unprofesh)

It is profoundly weird and disorienting having summer end and no set structure to go back to. On the other hand, I’m starting to piece together a structure for my post-grad life, and I’m pretty thrilled with some of the pieces! Here’s what’s up with me:

(As usual, you can check the news page of my website for details and a constant supply of self-promotion.)

The internets:

  • First off, I finally gave in and got an Instagram (@nadiainherownworld) after years of avoiding it for no particular reason! I look forward to expanding my skill set by wasting time in ways other than Facebook. I mean networking.

Day-ance

  • I’m really excited to be a part of Gotham Dance Theater, and we’ve recently begun rehearsals for the fall season!
  • In other performance news, I will be dancing in a piece by Joe Monteleone as part of Amalgamate Dance Company’s Guest Artist Showcase! The performance, which also includes work by Douglas Gillespie, Tiffany Mills, and Joya Powell, will be September 17.
  • It still feels way too warm to be hearing snow music, but we’ve begun rehearsals for Giada Ferrone’s Nutcracker NYC: A Contemporary Ballet. Performances December 8 and 9!
  • I recently joined Artery, a platform for hosting/performing at/finding pop-up showcases, and it has been one of my favorite things ever. Basically, I have been improvising solos at various rooftop showcases alongside amazing singers, musicians, dancers, and visual artists, and getting to know some wonderful, supportive people.
    • Stay tuned: my roommates and I are looking to organize an all improv showcase before it gets too cold: all improv, any genre (music, dance, theater, comedy, etc.)

But also…

  • I’m a tutor, office assistant, hopefully soon-to-be dance teaching assistant, and barista-in-training.
  • At the moment, I am also a deeply congested  and foggy person.
  • Yesterday, I got on a train in the wrong direction, spaced out, and drifted to Queens. Clearly, my brain is killing it.
  • I tried trimming my hair with a comb-thing which, from the Amazon reviews, seems to be mostly used by people with long-haired cats. Although I am not exactly the same as as a long-haired cat, I figured that we have enough similarities. It worked pretty well.
Advertisements

A Straightforward Update Post: Nadia Does Things

I’ve recently crossed the post-grad threshold between “nothing is happening” and “why is everything happening at the same time?” and thought I was due for a standard life update blog post. This feels much more straightforward and somewhat more self-promotional than what I normally do here, but hey, I promise I’ll be back with the rambly feel-pieces you know and tolerate soon enough.

As usual, the news page on my website will have all the self-promotional deets.

Right now:

  • I’m in my last weekend of performances of “Genesis 22” with the Woolgatherers Theater Group on Governor’s Island. It’s an immersive piece with six directors showing their various re-interpretations (theater, dance, funny, serious, and everything in-between) of a biblical story. I’m a dancey version of Isaac who finds myself some crazy partnering and ends up with audience members covering me in candles.
20229721_329529380834102_4690501575783447035_o

Photo by Nathan Luttrull and Jan Paulo Musni. Choreography by Caedra Scott-Flaherty.

One of the most challenging things about immersive theater, I’m realizing, is repetition. We repeat our 20 minute piece four times during each performance, as audience members explore and cycle through the different rooms. Not only is this physically demanding, but it also requires that we bring a similar focus and energy to each run–whether it happens to be in a near-empty room or filled with vocal group of 8-year-olds from a summer camp on the island. However, it’s also a chance to really dig into one piece of material and discover new things each time.

More Dancey Things Coming Up That Have Me Pumped:

  • The day after our last show on the island, I’m jumping right in to a performance workshop with the Merce Cunningham Trust. We’ll be training in Cunningham technique and re-staging Cunningham’s 1973 work “Changing Steps” for a performance on August 11.
  • The week after that, on August 18 I’ll be performing in a piece with Trainor Dance at the Battery Dance Festival.

New things starting up:

  • I recently joined Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee, a group of young professionals with various roles in the dance field who come together to discuss relevant social and economic issues. I’m one of the communications coordinators, and we’re looking for ways to use our blog and social media to expand give these discussions a public platform and wider visibility.

Particularly as I am primarily pursuing performance right now, I want to reject the expectation that performers are just silent, voiceless bodies to be used. I’m clearly too opinionated for that, so I’m excited to have a space where I can have a voice and create platforms for more voices in the dance community to be heard.

  • I’m just starting writing for Reductress.com, my favorite source of ironically faux-feminist satire! I always thought that puns and sarcasm would end up being my marketable skills.

Stuff that keeps going:

  • I continue to be a dance class junky and love meeting other dance class junkies of various persuasions, so I’m having a great time taking class in a variety of styles through Mark Morris Dance Center’s work-study program.
  • Generating income is hard. I’m looking for tutoring demand to start picking up as kiddos head back to school.

Between the profesh stuff…

  • As you may have noticed from the previous picture, I have significantly less hair now, and I love it!

20139647_10212291777401785_993622304418884841_n

  • My sister popped in last weekend to go to a Mashrou’ Leila concert with me (if you don’t know them, they are a socially-concious Lebanese alt-rock group with dope music videos that you should check out). It was both amazing and perhaps the gayrab-est thing I have been to. I tried really hard to get them to sign my shoe and barely failed.
20229209_10212344413677659_2088219776290478085_n

So close though.

  • I’m trying to move apartments at the end of this month! Fortunately, I don’t have that much stuff (it’s not “minimalism,” it’s just not having much stuff).

On my personal project back-burner: 

  • A dance film called “Neutral Pelvis” (Can pelvises really be neutral though, ya know?)
  • A sorta-historical essay about the role of White Jesus in legal race construction

 

Let’s Talk About Hair

Today I got a haircut. Nothing too exciting–just a few inches off, straight across, like I do a couple times every year. Sometimes, I think that one of these days I’ll go for something more stylized, interesting, or funky. It hasn’t happened yet.

—–

Between the ages of 9 and 15, I grew my hair out. Or more accurately (since “growing out” sounds too much like an active process), I just didn’t cut it, besides the occasional trim. I started out with the intention of making a better ballet bun and kept going until my bun required two packs of bobby pins to stay in place. Eventually, when my hair was pushing waist-length, I decided that I was going to cut off 10 inches to donate to an organization making wigs for cancer patients. It was still reasonably long after the cut, but the change was enough to make me cry as soon as I got in the car.

—–

When I was 12, I read that hair was dead cells. I liked to bring this fact up whenever someone or something referenced keeping my hair “healthy,” whether it was my mom encouraging me to trim my split ends or shampoo labels promising “healthy locks.” Describing something that was literally dead as “healthy” seemed like a particularly distorted example of misusing the language of health to describe aesthetics (If you want to make hair shinier or prettier, why can’t you just say that?). But I still use that same brand of shampoo and get trims.

—–

It’s funny how hair is so attached to our idea of femininity. At one point in my toddler existence, I believed that the distinguishing factor between boys and girls was hair length. Which isn’t really that strange of a misconception, considering that we still base so much of our perceptions of masculine/feminine, butch/femme, etc. on haircuts, probably more so than any other factor like dress or behavior.

The automatic equation of long hair to femininity always seemed a little strange when I thought of my own hair. It’s not that I particularly wanted my hair to be seen as not feminine, but my long hair was mostly a product of avoiding haircuts and beauty salons, something which hardly matched up with typical (or at least commercialized) associations of femininity with a concern for beauty and appearance.

—–

Granted, my vague discomfort with the commercial beauty industry was not my main reason for avoiding haircuts. Sometimes I didn’t want to get haircuts because I was busy or lazy, or because the water was too hot when they shampooed. But more than that, haircuts were a change, specifically a change that involved cutting off part of my body–part of me.

I guess when I was a teenager who had recently moved across the country, even superficial constants in my identity were feeling particularly important.

Of course, your hair still changes when you don’t cut it. It gets longer. But that kind of change is subtle enough to forget about most days–until you wake up one morning and realize that your hair reaches your butt instead of your shoulders.

—–

When I cut off those 10 inches, I was most shocked by the sense of permanence. Technically speaking, this obviously wasn’t accurate: hair grows back. But compared to the few seconds it takes to chop it off, the amount of time it takes to grow back is enough to seem like forever. And that’s a scary idea to face: that something which took years to gain can be lost in a moment.

—–

Some people use haircuts to symbolize big changes in their lives: “new ‘do, new you.” But I think that there is also something to be said for hair growth as a symbol for another type of change: slow, inconspicuous, unintentional, yet constant and inevitable, leaving you never quite the same as the previous day; the “new you” quietly emerging from the base of the old, until one day, you realize that you have something there which wasn’t before.