There were many reasons why I decided to take on a series of road trip dances up the East coast beyond the fact that I needed a practicum project for grad school and that a close friend needed to get her car up to Boston. There is so much of this country that I haven't observed with my own eyes and as a US-based artist making work that speaks to our culture I felt this was important. As a human being, too, art-aside if one can separate, I wanted to have a chance to examine the coast I live on; how do various aspects of the South compare to my lovely little pocket of the Northeast, would I feel a distinct shift in attitude, behaviors, reception, architecture - hell - fast food chains? Being quite curious about the consumption of art and the various shades of willingness to participate I wondered who would stop to view my tiny performances and how would they view and possibly engage. Finally, I struggle with the idea of myself as a performing body. I love to dance and to explore my physicality, constantly am immersed in making work to set on others, enjoy the discreetly performative act of teaching, and yet I have only recently passed the point of 'hating' the act of performance. Could I complete a project based on the caveat that I had to publicly demonstrate something I haven't quite figured out?
Slightly anxious about the latter reason, having arrived in Southern Florida, I found it difficult to let go of the marginal amount of stress surrounding the performative goals I had set for myself. Funny, because there was no pressure to 'make something' - not that that's ever really a stressor - I'd decided to move in an improvisational and perhaps site-influenced manner. It was the act of being watched with no safety net of others around me; if there was any sort of audience it would be a deliberate audience, choosing to watch yours truly as likely the only person doing strange things in public at the time.
Considering the fact that people probably watch me do very weird things every day (I've got a number of odd habits and methods and tendencies), I gave in a bit, giving myself permission to do just one invisible dance while sitting in the airport waiting for a ride. An excerpt of it is below. I was passed by a family, an airport worker driving a woman through the terminal, a flight crew, and a horde of businesspeople and no one was wise to what I was doing. The fact that it was a secret was exciting. While this was completely not the purpose of my trip, a false start of sorts, it gave me just enough momentum and amusement to combat my silly worries and carry on with the project.
Also, while not opposed to nudity in performance, a copious application of spandex (aka bike shorts) was adhered to in each of these videos. Dance is just crotchy. Get over it.
For video click here.