Friday, January 30, 2009
The Chad Challenge. Challenges come in many forms. One of those forms of challenges may very well be the one essential thing that will help separate a masterpiece from the rest. This challenge? The ability to trust.
From the moment I first saw Chad Michael Hall I knew that his piece, “DoubleSpeak” was not going to be for the faint of heart. Sometimes I feel like there should be a viewers’ discretion attached to it that reads, “Warning: You may witness carnage on the dance floor.” But I joke. The first weekend Chad came to teach us his piece, he fearlessly flung his body a couple feet into the air and immediately crashed it onto the surface of the Marley floors without sight of a broken bone. Crash and burn. There were many forlorn looks amongst the dancers that reflected an inner fear. A fear of what? A fear of not knowing if we would hurt ourselves badly enough to get sent to the hospital. A fear of not knowing if we could muster enough strength to go through another brutal 8-hour rehearsal. A fear of not knowing if we would be able to match Chad’s intended style of choreography. A fear of not knowing if we would be able to channel our “psychic sisterhood” and move together as one unit when needed. A fear of not knowing what was going to happen. Essentially, that is exactly what fear is: the panic of not knowing.
As day and night became a blur of one, and as the weeks zipped past at the speed of light, the Chad troupe finally got it together. Like every work of art, dance is a vicious, yet remarkable cycle of progression. The dance isn’t perfect, and perhaps it may never be. But for now, it is what it is. And what was the answer to digging through those coupled layers of fears? Quite simply, it was trust. Once each of us salvaged enough trust in ourselves, pushing past those barriers fear left us, we united and came together. We found trust in one another. Maybe that’s part of the lesson Chad wanted us to learn on our own. Just as the story of his piece reflects the development of chaos powering together to mold into a revitalized unit, we, as dancers had to power through the anger and frustrations to eventually find a stronghold of peace within one another and within ourselves. You can’t imagine how great it feels to dance something you’ve bled, sweated, and worked so hard for and at the same time, to be able to dance it with those who have been there every step of the way.
Photo: Prem Ananda premphoto.com