Moments of Exchange

I’m in San Diego, performing with Vanessa Justice Dance at San Diego State University.  Two weeks prior, I returned to New York after a five week visit in Brussels, as a guest at PARTS.  The underlying mission of these trips is artistic exchange.  So immediately I ask what does that mean…  I realize I rarely consider myself a vehicle for that in New York, but imagine myself, my peers, all the work I see and love, as an expanding and shape-shifting diamond.  Although ultimately exchange is occurring, the hat feels different — contribution feels more the tone.  But in this role, what am I bringing, what am I taking?  How is this meeting, proximity of work, expanding each sides’ sense of what is possible in this form and what is possible in the way artists live in relationship to this form.  These are my assumed goals for exchange.  Possibly because I desire expansion around those questions.  And also because I sense that geography and environment are at the root of how we orient to the world as artists (obviously… but to really begin to feel and experience that).  Although there is a multitude of variation in New York, my sense is that we’re all in the same boat, in terms of how we are required to field that city — a force to be reckoned with for sure — which is a huge assumption I am just beginning to de-code, from afar.  But to be in Southern California, to be in Brussels, or Amsterdam, or Paris, where light filters through the sky differently changing the tone of one’s body, where the amount of space between buildings reveals sky in various degrees, changes one’s consciousness, and in turn, changes one’s art.  So to just have enough time and space in a place to be open to listening for the shift in consciousness, and then to allow it to cycle into the work, to then out-put, and be seen by the community that is already holding the life of dance in that location, is really an amazing thing.  The tone of interaction feels more specific than just showing up as an artist and showing what you can do.  To create a loop, feels more the thing to do.

–Maggie Bennett, performer and choreographer, 2009 MR Artist in Residence

  • April 17th, 2010
  • Maggie Bennett

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