DANCE ARTIST AS ENDANGERED SPECIES
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
In a world of economist, of ‘high functioning’ intellectuals and well-organized do-ers, the wild, disorganized, passion-driven dancing artist has become a rare animal.
We are among the hunted.
We are taken down by procedures that don’t relate to our art so we ignore them; we are punished for our ignorance that ‘the world doesn’t work this way’ even though we already know this, that is why we are suggesting that it could be different.
The dancing artist is a rare and unique beast, she is endangered…more needs to be done to protect her free space to exist. I do not know where this belongs, merely that it is a discussion that is necessary to have, somewhere, everywhere, all the time.”
I’m seriously done being dismissed by the arbiters of high art because I am what I will just call a ‘low-functioning intellectual’ and that my art-making is absolutely messy, risk-taking, unhinging and inexplicable. I prefer this. I am not orderly, dance does not unfold for me in this way. I am entangled, not sequential. I have words, and too many of them really, but none of them help to ‘sell my work’ only to cheapen my artistic value.
I would like a way to describe what it is like to be flushed into the sewers of low intellectual/functional status simply because a presenter or funder thinks you could have prettier marketing materials and better managerial capacities for business administration.
I admit it, I do fling around, maybe to someone else it looks like I could flop, big time. I agree, it is nerve racking, I too often vibrate with instability. But unlike a ‘gatekeeper’ I am not unhinged by this strange vibratory state, I am not afraid that I will not be able to do my job…it is this very unnerving that lets me know that I am closer to making meaningful work.
The ‘gatekeepers’ like to act as if their ‘high-functioning intellectualism’ has given them some sort of golden ticket into the kingdom of high culture with a seat in the thrones as either Queen or King, but I disagree, it seems more to me like the role of Court Jester sometimes, just entertaining us as distraction from life not as a meaningful re-presentation of it.
From this throne of ‘well managed business organization’ The Royals have decreed that all wild beast who choose to flee from APAP, or WAA, who find it gross to watch privileged patriarchy display itself in meaningless elitist non-humanist, non-feminist macho dance moves, who cannot devour the dignity of our art by commercializing ourselves by trying to ‘meet a marketplace’ for our work, are in some way not worthy of being presented or funded.
As a self-described high-functioning artist and low-functioning intellectual I am not always well nourished, I am often scavenging for the scraps that are left behind by those who given more than they could actually take for themselves, or to receive the beautiful gift of donations by those few who have seen more in me than the feral creature I appear to be.
I have also been kicked out of homes I where I used to be allowed in, where I was one allowed to sit on the couch, I am now locked outside into the streets and no longer welcome in. Maybe when I was there I bit off more than I could chew…I don’t remember choking? But still I am treated like the stray beast they thought they could trust not to eat the furniture. But I did. I may have tried to eat the whole building, the whole city, the whole moment, the everything. I was alive as an artist, and yes, it was really messy. I’m still messy, still wild and yes, the work unhinges me and I am constantly responding to the shifts in possibilities, I do not command the work, it just unfolds in me.
I know that I am not pragmatic, nor am I logical, procedural or even sensical sometimes… but that is not what I am. I am a dance artist. I am kinetic, illogical, disorienting, unmanageable and sensational. I am a dance artist. I am not a functional business person, I am unruly and quite dysfunctional here. I don’t make charts, I hold space. I don’t network, I nest. I don’t sell, I create.
I feel isolated sometimes to my own inner world where the wild wolf in me is enough, where I feel safe to exist. I am a dance artist but I am an endangered species. I am being replaced by ‘highly efficient, high functioning, well organized and meticulous with detail’ dance producers/makers. I want more space to exist. I want more dignity in this existence.
AUGUST 27, 2016
When the circumstances and conditions of our lives feel loveless, I think it is a human reaction to fight back by amplifying rage and hate. I sit with that suffering, it does hurt.
I think when we feel invisible, that we want to punish others for our fear that we are inadequate. I hear this anguish, I sit here with it.
I think it is easy that in a world that is full of nonsense to go deaf to our own ignorance. My heart hurts for us, I am here with this hurting.
Sometimes we run from pain, we try to find ways to escape or vacate the acknowledgment of hurting or suffering. Perhaps this is what causes more pain, more hurting, more rage, more radical isolationism. Maybe what we need is to be with each others hurting, with our pain, with one another as we disclose our sorrows. Perhaps in doing this we create more Love. I am here, with love, embracing your pain, your hurting.
It is okay, even the fiercest of cheetahs must pause to lick their bloody wounds clean, it does not make you less fierce. It is a moment to recognize that you are the source of your own mighty power to both fight and to nurture yourself towards healing. Pain is a contact point with your aliveness. I am sitting with this, and in your aliveness the love space in me expands. With you always exquisite humans…love…love…love…always love…
THAT'S THE WORK!
In full compliance, in an act of protection for his autistic client who has wondered away from his home, laying on his back with his arms up…and for no reason, at all, he is shot by the police.
The police officer who shot him when asked by Charles Kinsey, “Why did you shoot me?” says…
“I don’t know.”
If there is no reason, no known threat that justifies the shooting, then it is an unjustified shooting, which I think should be some sort of attempted murder charge, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, idiot with a gun and a badge crime? This is a tragic but clear illustration of what racism looks like when it gets ramped up by adrenaline and fear…the officer is completely blind to what is actually happening, the man is on his back protecting a scared autistic human being holding a toy truck.
Instead the officer sees two dangerous attackers causing threat and harm to others and themselves? How is this possible??
Institutionalized, sensationalized, publicized, systematized racism, that’s how.
I hope the Kinsey family sues the North Miami Police Department for millions of dollars, I hope that his suit against them will include mandated training for their officers in non-racist practices and “knowing why the f*ck you’re shooting your weapon,” along with comprehending “arms up; don’t shoot.”
ARMS UP DON’T SHOOT.
This is just disgusting and the North Miami Police department and all its members should be ashamed and humiliated that this has happened on their watch. The police officer who shot Mr. Kinsey should serve time in a mental facility, clearly his brain is broken and he needs psychological help while he serves proper time for assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment of the public, assault of a mentally disabled person with a deadly weapon and flagrant disregard for human life. Ignorance and idiocy gone wild at the North Miami Police Department. So very grateful Mr. Kinsey survived, he can speak to the truth that there are in fact police officers who shoot black men for no good reason. Thank you Charles Kinsey for surviving, we all look forward to what we hope will be some form, any form of justice for you.
“What we don’t talk about is how the greatest predictor of violence isn’t religion, occupation or race. It’s gender.
In the United States, 98% of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98% of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90% of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80% of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male.”
I am not sure about all that this article is suggesting about the causation of violent behaviorism in individuals. And certainly it is not all males who are capable of brutal violence…it just seems that statistically males are responsible for most of the mass shootings and it is most often male police officers involved in violent and fatal altercations with people in their communities.
In what ways are we not serving the emotional and psychological needs of men and male bodies? In what ways might we learn to address their pain? What can we do to be better to our sons so that they have emotional and social spaces to express their complex emotional lives without being punished by a ‘macho-men don’t cry’ society?
I think I need to learn more about how I can help to cultivate a culture of care for the emotional lives of men who feel pain and fear who need to feel loved through their hurting rather than ignored and forced to “man up.”
Denying hurt is misguided, not macho, forgetting you have human feelings that make you vulnerable doesn’t make you stronger, just dumber to your pain.
How can we help to heal the emotional pain inside men?
I am awake embracing my sleeplessness…searching for ways to feel like I can help to redirect our descent into moral chaos towards an aim for social justice…
I’m so tired, but my exhaustion has nothing to do with doing too much…
I am sick and tired of not doing enough, of doing too little and sitting around rather than getting up, standing up and speaking out. Awake now, alert and aware…doing all I can to demand dignity, safety and freedom for all peoples.
…it is perpetuating the downfall of our existence.
When individuals desire to profit from institutionalized racism, sexism and classism they are sinister war profiteers. They make money from mass incarcerations, make money from the unjust criminalization for being black or brown, make money to create poor educational systems, make money while others are paid unfair wages and yes, they keep making money using unlawful policies that disadvantage everybody except white men.
They just keep making money?
For real, let’s start asking ourselves who makes money from racism? What corporations are using, for profit, prisons and prisoners as a cheap labor force? What industries gain power and profit from keeping poor folks poor and uneducated people away from information? This is where the real evil lies…not just a police force that has forgotten its original purpose to protect and serve…but the evil lives in the corporations and industries that make money from the mass imprisonment and killing of black, brown, poor and female bodies.
…today we celebrate freedom, not simply a sanitized remembrance of American history. For some of us it is ‘happy’, for others today is a reminder of hypocrisy, continual oppression for ‘non-whites’ and its a day peering into a weird grotesque glorification of American whiteness.
I am feeling like it is important to remember that we are still in this battle for freedom, that we still have more to do, that we are still colonizing human beings and that we are not done fighting systemic racism, classism and sexism.
Today we shared with our son that although many people will be proudly patriotic about being American, many of us will also acknowledge that we have a tainted history of hurting people and that we are not always proud of our country’s politics or policies. We also shared with him that of course we also have a history of heroism that has helped people and in these moments we are proud of our actions. But our ‘independence’ is still pending…so long as bodies can be marked ‘other’, and we can be branded by ‘gender’ and identified through income brackets, we are not free.
I celebrate the best of who we have been as a country, I sit with the painful history of us as a people at our worst…I am hopeful that we can and will do better.
May we all know freedom, may your independence be celebrated today and all days.
We are living in a time of madness. We are living through chaos. Nothing makes sense…except LOVE. I do not care to hear any arguments about the 2nd amendment, xenophobia, politics or anything else.
The subject at hand is that we are creating a culture of hate, a society of fear, and we are a nation of ignorance.
I reject this hate, I refuse to accept the fear, I will change my ignorance. I will love, I will seek to love more, when I do not know, I will ask for more love to guide me.
The weapons that are most dangerous to us are narcissism and apathy. When the ego thinks that it is entitled to a better life than others and when we don’t care to offer love to all human life it endangers our safety and wellbeing, it creates a fake sense of power. But we know this is not power, its just intense hate. Real power…real empowerment arises from and through LOVE.
Beginning the day in pain, in direct contact with the broken world…allowing body to acknowledge our hurting.
We spoke of our brothers and sisters who were taken from us in Orlando, we ached in the madness. We also asked body to be a belief system, believing that if we endeavor deeper into dignifying our bodies with practices of freedom and consciousness that we offer a more compassionate option for being in the world. Our dancing today was an embodied protest against insanity. You were broken open. Your body was a portal, not a prison, your dancing was a contact point with capacity, not criticism, your downfall is merely the origin point of your uprising. You were absolute beauty today… i loved being witness to your biodynamical process of embodiment as it materialized into choreography. I am humbled by your enormous generosity, I am grateful I get to meet you again tomorrow.
…this is what is created, generated and sensationalized through your body as you ride the fluctuations between rise and fall, between the pulsating squeezes of your heart, between pain and pleasure, between birth and death, between knowing and unknowing, between learning and unlearning…in-between-ness, a transitory journey through a liminal space of emergent possibility. A floating thought from my mind as I prepare for today’s encounter with life dancing as movement entangles itself with space-time.