I just found out I will be assisting Aletta Collins on her next project at the ROH2. Her new commission with be part of a double bill, one half will be an opera directed by Tom Cairns called Les Voix Humaine and her dance piece is called Duet for One Voice with a new score by Scott Walker. Both pieces are inspired by the plays of Jean Cocteau.
Now wait till you hear who the dancers are.... Lorena Randi (aaaahhh), Conor Doyle (aaaaaahhh), Omar Gordon (who has danced for everyone but I just came across him recently in Protein's LOL) and then two newbies to me: Daniel Hay-Gordon and Hyekyoung Kim. I worked with Aletta last year for The Place's 40th Anniversary show 'This is The Place'. I am so excited and completely terrified at the same time.
So far this year things are going alright. However there is that underlying fact that this is just a smooth patch and it won't last forever. Freelance is a bitch for that. Never knowing what is around the corner. I suppose although it is scary, it doesnt always have to be a negative thing. I wonder if I will be talking this positively about it when my situation changes. This job fits right around the Weirdy Beardies and the project with JoonDance in Wales during the summer.
My role at Candoco has also taken another turn. Currently I am Youth Dance Manager, which seems like a very grand title for the amount of work I do- teach 2 classes a week and then 2 days admin a month. However they recently asked me if I would take on a 3 day a week position (1 day office 2 days teaching). How great is that? I hear you say- some stability but not too much commitment. Perfect.
Well, it freaked me out so much that I turned it down. Well.... I first of all accepted, then a few panic attacks later, caused by the thought of 'What does this mean for me as dancer?', I said no. I enjoy my varied freelance life and we all know 3 days supposedly turns into full time, so I was not going to go there. I am a dancer and don't want to be put into the education bracket, and we all fear that bracket. It's the horrible bracket that people apparently go in because they cant get any performing work. I know that sounds really bad but it is what people think. I know that it is not as straightforward as that and I really do know it. Most artists teach. Teachers are artists too and I would rather teach than be behind a bar on my feet till all hours of the night. I am lucky I can teach. I know I may have to go back to bar work eventually but I am staying away for as long as I can.
Anyway after I said no thankyou because of reasons explained above, they turned around to me and offered me the same position but in a different package that I could not turn down. I would be stupid to. It would mean that I would still be able to do all other work that I was offered- how amazing? I do love the work I do with Candoco but I suppose I don't want it to wholly define me. I want to be known as a performer first and foremost and then other things can come after that. If I had been a dancer in the company first and then became YDM then that would be different but I haven't accomplished that goal just yet.
I am really surprised about how much being offered this (amazing) job made me completely freak out. Now in hindsight I know its about how I see myself and how I let myself be seen. I think it was also due to the fact that I am starting to get more and more paid performing work and I suppose I dont want to then get tied to something and let people down. However being associated to Candoco is amazing. I get to choreograph and be creative working with amazing people all the time. And it only takes up part of my freelance life. Its not a bad bar job after all.