'People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life.'
Why do we dance?
Why do you dance?
Is it the physicality? The love for performance? The need to express yourself? The attention? Or do you find yourself doing it because you can? Without it what would you be? Who would you be? Does it define you? Can you say what you want to say better through movement than words?
And when you decide to stop... if you stop, how do you stop and why? Is it because you are broken and your body cannot handle it anymore, is it because you are not getting what you want from it? Do you stop whilst you still love it and before you end up resenting it? Maybe you are never going to fit the role that somebody wants, or maybe you're not going to be the dancer that you want to be. Maybe you're just not good enough.
Everybody knows there's are more dancers than jobs so why do you keep going? Becuause it's worth it right? Once you've had that taste. What's the saying?..
...find something you love and let it kill you.
I've lost my love for dance. 2012 opened my eyes up to a lot, and I have been very very fortunate to have had the experience I have. It is due to that experience that upon my return to London 6 months ago I saw just how much I had changed, but not just that, the curriculum in the schools has changed, the requirements and expectations of dancers has changed, the vibe has changed, and people are really insecure.
There is a certain vavavoom that dance used to give me when I was in the studio (and it still does when I take class). I would love to sweat and try out new things, just listen to the music and move. I have never been one for performing on stage and touring (ironically). I lived for studio time, the pure physicality of dance. It is performing with Stomp that made me realise that how much fun you can have whilst on stage and in life without having to take yourself so seriously. I don't have to worry about how skinny I am, how high my legs go, where I have trained or who I have worked with. We auditioned against thousands of people all over the world, standards are high, you are hired on looks, talent and personality just like every other job, you work hard and if you don't then you're fired whether you be 10 weeks into the show or 10 years. There are less stompers in the world, than Laban's intake of students each year and I feel so so lucky to be a part of the family.
As I traveled home from Munich on Monday, I couldn't help but think that these are also some of the most humble and talented people that I have ever met. There's no room for diva behaviour, there is no room for slacking, there is no time for excuses and we all have each others back. Everybody has a unique skill and everybody is so open minded and intelligent, I am constantly learning from these people and I am constantly inspired. To come from that back into contemporary dance in London is both humbling and disappointing. I don't need to go into detail... but a lot has changed.
So what happens now? What is next? People are not getting jobs (not saying that there is many to choose from) and people are not able to do what it is that they want to do so as a result they create companies where that they can both dance and create, the way that they want to. It's good that people are trying new things but is it enough? Especially at a time when there is no money? I don't want to sound rude but when companies like nord dans lose their funding I start to question where the money is going. And why are we all stuck in London?! There are a lot of companies all over europe, you just need to do it, go and see what else there is.
It's a horrible thing to say but we are losing our idols, icons and pioneers of modern dance to a new wave in art movement and what may I ask are we replacing them with and where are we going with it? Davis, Bruce, Cunningham, Ailey, Alston, Bausch, De Keersmaeker, Anderson, Forsythe, Bourne, McGregor, Schector, Newson. Naharin, Maliphant (to name a few).. they won't be around forever and they will be replaced in our new generation by.....??? And is there a possibility of a life long career like there used to be? Or should we expect to lose our job every 3 years when the new funded companies are announced.
As a result, something has changed in the new choreographers in the contemporary dance world, at least for me it has. I feel like it has lost it's voice...
..either that or maybe it just doesn't have anything to say anymore.
something needs to change.