Anxiety and discomfort, that's good, right?
I still feel anxious about "appropriating someone else's fight" and appropriation in general, and I think... that's good... because we are wrestling with some real contradictions in making this piece.
We're performing 'Inherent' at Hop Festival in a few days, a show about getting past the awkwardness of being accountable for each other across racial divides. The first part looks at memories, the second part at the struggle to stay engaged, but the last is us trying to dance our best. When it comes to dance, there is always the element of entertainment, of showcasing skills - I want to inspire awareness for social change, yes, but I also want applause! I want to be recognized for the work! I want someone to see me on stage and decide to seduce me into a relationship so life-affirming that family and friends think we've joined a cult! But that means we start to appropriate a story that is not ours, one of black memory, for ourselves. And that smacks of self--indulgence, of self-serving hypocrisy...
We've been looking at ways we can remind the audience that we are doing a show, about the show. Can we applaud each other on stage? Can we reject applause? Because this is real question: how far can anyone do something for someone else? I want the audience to really ask if the dancers, not the characters on stage but the real actual people, can make a show about someone else without it becoming, in the end, about themselves. And maybe that's the point, we can only ever stay on our own side of the skin. How can we be bigger than that?
If any of y'all are in Barcelona on the 17th, get down to MERCAT DE LES FLORS.
We'll be pulling hard at the thread.
Hop Festival Dec 17th programme including:
BREAKIN' CONVENTION (UK) + FESTIVALS KARAVEL & KALIPSO (FRANÇA) + DÉSOLÉ MAMAN GARDE ROBE (FRANÇA) + HOP FESTIVAL presenta HOP MIRADES INTERNACIONALS. Inherent + Untitled + Fighting Spirit + Kintsugi.