Me, the middle "cat", in my only technique class until I started my year of dance at 50.
What the what??!!
I can't believe it. I haven't been on a stage since I did a complex and nuanced dance/gymnastics routine to the "Theme from Shaft" in the 7th grade. Cartwheel, round off, toe jump. Repeat. Shaft!
But this June, I will take the stage at the Aronoff Center for the Arts as part of the Area Choreographer's Festival with Alison Vodnoy and an ensemble of dancers, led by the collaborating choreographic expertise of Heather Britt.
We are calling the piece Dis(Embody). Or maybe it is (Dis)Embody. We have some stuff to work out.
I applied this year because it seemed the right thing to do with the concept I had presented to Alison about making a theatrical, movement-based work that explores the reasons why we check out of our body and some of the things that can happen and/or not happen when one is wandering around in a dissociative state.
I have had my share of "checked" out years. I know exactly where I "go" when I want to spend time in the fluffy, easy, floating place I have created where I can fantasize, recall, project, imagine. When Alison and Heather and I first met to discuss this, we all realized we "go" to the same space. Our out of body "place" is up and a little behind us to the right. And for the three of us, it is a nice place to be.
We have started asking others about their out-of-body "place." It has been astonishing how easy this concept is for most people to grasp and how specific these unpracticed answers, never-before-considered answers are:
"It is up and behind my left eye. I sort of leave forward and then curl back up and behind my eye."
"Up to the right. It is fluffy."
"I go to a space in my childhood bedroom, in front of my bed. I sort of go horizontal and then swoop down in it."
"I go inside. To the left of my chest. It is not pleasant."
We have just started making this piece. It will be a wonderful source of discovery through movement and narrative and collaboration. We will invite others to play with us. And we will let you know when it is time to hunker down and buy tickets.
Until then, think about this:
When you check out of your body, when you fantasize or space out or whatever it is you do, can you identify "where" it is you go to? And what that space feels like?
Let us know and help inspire our work.