I’ve been spending most of the past week or so at City Center Studios learning and rehearsing Merce Cunningham repertory, which by the way, is a physical tongue twister and an equation and a calve killer and a dance history lesson all at the same time (one might even say we are im-Merce-d *knee slap*). I’m really excited to show what we’ve been working on at the showing on Friday (there will be a live stream too, so check the Cunningham Trust streaming page at 4:30pm!)
But last Friday night, I took my dancing back downtown for a different sort of performance experience, improvising at a rooftop showcase organized by Artery, alongside three other captivating musicians and dancers.
When planning for this show, I was in the process of moving apartments and didn’t have the wifi access to do my usual music search. I considered just dancing to whatever was on my phone–and then realized that mostly included a bunch of NPR Radiolab episodes (I’ve been commuting a lot lately).
My friends immediately told me to go with it, and I did–smashing a few episodes together and throwing in some Gwen Stefani and some of my own sound effects.
Here’s what resulted: let’s call it a little study on curiosity, words, and fear.
In other news, I just finished my last college final ever. So that’s that.
So this girl walks onto a barre…
Some mini-film things I was playing with at home:
And a little bit of improv now that I’m back in the city:
Tomorrow I start my last semester of college (forever?)–wish me luck, cuz I think I’m gonna need it.
- “Doing it all” is kind of an overrated goal. “Doing some of it really well at a reasonable pace, and also having time to sleep, socialize, and be a person” is kind of an underrated one.
- Being interested in the ideas behind a field is different than enjoying the daily practice of it. Both are important if you want to be happy doing it.
- Personally, I encounter this tension whenever I find an area of academic research super important and compelling, but realize that sitting alone in a library or in front of a computer all day makes me want to smash things. Ideally, I’d like to find ways to engage with ideas I’m interested in through practices I enjoy.
- Don’t trust people who always say it’s gonna be okay—it’s statistically unlikely. (Cheerleaders have a pretty bad accuracy record. So do some pollitical pundits.)
- Lots of people manage to have impressive careers without actually doing their jobs very well. My working theory is that whoever is mediocre the loudest and most confidently wins.
- Or in the long-term, maybe whoever sticks around the longest wins.
- There is a such thing as trying too hard.
- Dealing with uncertainty is a skill. One that I’m going to need next year on several levels.
- I did a lot of improv this semester, including a 15 minute piece of semistructured group improvisation on stage. In the process, I got pretty used to not knowing what situation I’m going to find myself in, but knowing that I can rely on the tools and skills I’ve developed to deal with it. And if I’m out of ideas, sometimes the best choice is to stop and look to the people around me.
- Ironic understatement is one of the overlooked love languages.
- Lots of companies/organizations project a positive/progressive image, but if you take a look at their internal practices, you might get a different picture.
- You know how some people gain so much academic knowledge but loose the ability to use common sense or talk in straightforward language? Or some dancers gain so much technical and performance training but loose the ability to walk naturally or dance at a party? Especially as I’m coming out of school, my goal is to make sure that whatever new/fancy/advanced skills I gain are supplementing, not replacing, whatever I had before.
- Half of knowing how to have a good conversation is knowing how to listen.
- Theories and frameworks can be useful ways to organize and understand reality. But if reality isn’t fitting your theory, you should probably rethink the theory, not the reality.
- People are always interpreting what they learn–news, history, other people–through the lens of narratives they already know. Sometimes that makes us ignore the people and events that don’t fit the pre-established narratives.
- And if your reality doesn’t fit the dominant narrative, it’s a good opportunity to get an alternative narrative out into the world.
- One way to deal with feeling misunderstood is to get better at explaining yourself.
- Multiple famous/cool people died this year, but there are also lots of cool people still alive. We can appreciate those people too.
- Most things described as “it’s complicated” and “it’s a long story” can actually be summed up in one sentence.
- It’s been three years, and I’m still not sure what this blog is about.