Kurtain Time

Alright, yes, I’m cheating a little on this one, but I have to write on this topic, as I will explain.

So, I have this little contemporary dance company, ChinaCat Dance. In November we received an Artist-in-Residency with FrenetiCore Theater. Tonight (6/1/12) is opening night for our show.

And how is this Pagan? Because it’s all about spirit, love, and a little magick.

We received the residency in November, but due to other performance commitments we really began working on this concert in January. From my perspective, it’s been pretty much all consuming since then.

I am no stranger to performances. I direct a dance company through my job and ChinaCat performs very regularly throughout the year. But there has been only one other time that we did an entire show that was all ChinaCat, so that makes this performance very special.

Just so the reader knows a little about what we’re presenting, our show is called “Glow”. The first half happens all in black light and features a variety of glowing characters. I kind of think of it as a space garden full of alien flowers, bugs, and little glowing critters. The second half happens outside in a courtyard because it is all fire dancing. I see fire as a much more primal light, and I love the juxtaposition of this very alien, futuristic light versus the ancient light of fire. If you’re curious, here’s the press release-http://www.dancesourcehouston.org/dnn/Press/ChinaCatDancePresentsGlow.aspx

Producing a show takes extreme dedication and commitment, and it also takes a little magick. There are a lot of moving parts and components that need sorting out and you can have all the organization in the world, but without that magick spark it all comes crumbling down.

I also make myself very vulnerable in the process. Essentially I am sharing an artistic vision with the world, and this world is going to judge it. People could love it or hate it, and I have to face the music either way. Artists are sensitive, and although I may seem tough, I am no exception. I have poured time, sweat, and large sums of money into this all with the simple hopes that people will enjoy this performance and feel the joy and love in it. When that is met with negativity it becomes a bitter pill to swallow. But so far so good…..no negativity at this point…..so onward we go.

At the heart of all of this are the dancers themselves. For my company it’s not just about being an amazing dancer. My dancers all have to have a particular spirit to become a ChinaCat. We are a close group who love to be together. There is no way I could have this company without these particular ladies. They show unbelievable dedication and commitment to this company. They spend uncountable hours in rehearsal, they help sew costumes, they help prepare the performance space, and they always dance with joy. They put up with wearing crazy costumes and allow themselves to be made into various animals, creatures, and other crazy creations. They make ChinaCat, ChinaCat and I love them more than words can say.

People ask me if I audition dancers, and so far I have not. To be a ChinaCat you have to fit into the group dynamic and I can’t get that from an audition. My dancers tend to find us. Either they are someone we already know and have worked with at some point, or it’s someone I get a certain feeling from. New people come into the company as kittens, and if it works out they grow into Cats.

We’re a pretty raucous group, and I don’t think we fit into the normal modern/contemporary dance world. I tend to blend dance with theatrics and costuming to create a unique look. I want to please audiences and I want people who don’t usually go to dance concerts to come to a ChinaCat show and leave thinking dance is really cool. I want to entertain people, and I’ve actually been slammed for this. I’ve been told by hoity-toity modern dance people that I think about the audience too much and my work is too entertaining. Well, forgive me for wanting a wide variety of people to enjoy my work and have fun in the process of viewing it. If the audience has a positive experience at a dance concert and enjoys it, they are much more likely to go to another one. But I digress…..

So, sorry for this little cheat, but I just could not wrap my mind around any other topic at this particular moment.

And here we go….in just a few hours it’s curtain time. I will present this concert to the public and open myself to everyone. There are always things I want to change, but really we are ready for opening night, and I am ready to share this particular artistic vision with an audience.

I am ready to share the magick…..


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. yvonnewrites
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 03:13:12

    I saw this show on closing night. I was blown away. It was one of the most amazing art experiences I’ve had this year. I wished I’d seen it earlier so that I could have come back with my son. The first thing I said to my boyfriend at the end was, “They could have charged a lot more for that.” Beautiful, amazing, warm, sensual, quirky, and profound. Bravo!


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