This is a work about preparing for dance. Which means preparing for the thing that saved me and shaped me, that I can’t (or won’t) let go, despite the disaffection I have around and for it. It is a solo, but it has at times many people. It is long, because it is not a summary, but in fact the real thing, or as close to real as possible when fitting it all onto a stage or into a performance.
Preparation is about what gets called ‘cross-training’. It’s more of a meditation though, occurring over years and decades, or habit, like brushing teeth. This is training for dancing, performing, choreographing, living, surviving. The attention to physical detail. An exact and literal look at the entirety of training.
While training full-time in dance, a flatmate gave me a book on psychology for rock climbers. One line stuck with me: If you want to do this seriously, you have to decide what you’re prepared to give up, because you will have to give something up. As I get older, past the age when most dancers have retired or moved over to more secure lives, I’m still here, still giving something up in return for a part of my self. Preparation is also about fear. Fear of getting old, fear of injury, fear of failure, of not being good enough. Fear of not having anything to defend myself with if I don’t have this. Fear of knowing how people like me are seen in the world, and what we lose in order to be true to ourselves.
Preparation is a solo endurance work, hypothetically in the future, in which I work through all my standard training as a dancer, from core and strength training, yoga, ballet class, to climbing and cycling, alone and accompanied by coaches and teachers.