red girl garden
Today I was going through my costumes and came across a red dress and wig that brought back memories of a dancer from ten years ago. In October 2003 I had the honor of going to Holguin, Cuba with Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre to perform and teach. (I will post about that at some point soon!) In a shop there I found a small, charming, cartoon-like painting of a little girl wearing a red dress and watering a massive sunflower, and I knew I had to make a dance inspired by both the painting and my experience in Cuba. Sadly I cannot find the little painting, but I did find these few pics of my solo red girl garden, first performed in the January 2004 Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
The dance was improvisational, based on a few movement themes, with very intense noise music. That March I performed it again in a benefit for the Asheville Butoh Festival, adding red roses to the piece, which I shredded and ate and spit out and fell on and stuck in my hair, etc. The evening’s performance was reviewed in our local paper and basically said that I was a strong performer but had no sense of how to choreograph, which was quite true at the time, ha! I remember not being upset by the review at all, as experimenting and pushing my limits was my focus then, not choreography. A few people even called to tell me to ignore the review, that the dance did have issues, but to continue creating and that my work would evolve. Evolve it has, indeed! I am so grateful for the experiences and people who have helped me grow as a person and dance artist, and I strive to maintain the “beginner’s mind” and love of experimentation and extremes that the dancer in red had ten years ago.