Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two Months Into It With More Snow

Right now it is snowing continuously and I am sitting down with a homemade chai latte to reflect as I'm trapped in my little studio. It is the second of two consecutive snow days. It it weird to not be able to do the regular routine. But at the same time, kind of nice. I can catch up on certain chores and paper work.

So what has happened to me? Why did I not write for so long? I think I had to try to give over to my new life more fully. It's hard to move forward when you keep looking back. I am definitely straddling the divide between my one half that misses San Francisco and the known, and my other half that is trying to open up to Boulder and the unknown factors.

Starting from where I left off in my last entry, Jim is definitely my first friend outside of my program. We had a great night out in Denver that Saturday night and even connected with my friend John Lehnert who was visiting his family in Denver. We went to two bars and then a dance club. It was nice to get some exposure to the scene in Denver. It was also important to introduce a friend from San Francisco to my unfolding new life here. And it was great to see someone who already knows me.

In the middle of October I was part of a staged reading of The Laramie Project Epilogue. This is a play written by the original theatre company looking at Laramie and the Matthew Shepard murder ten years later. It was great to be apart of this reflection and so close to Laramie itself. Some important questions were raised and the voices of his murderers definitely left a mark upon my feelings of safety and value as an openly gay man. I also found the struggle for the myth of the masculine to be an undercurrent of this whole tragedy and struggle to understand it. Our culture suffers from a masculine myth wounded by its inability to be vulnerable and loving.

My class began a new component of our training. For three weeks we are working with Leigh Fondakowski a member of the theatre company that created The Laramie Project. We are learning a technique called Moment Work. It is informative and a practical way to approach exploring various elements of theatricality-not just pure text/writing. We are now working on a project focusing on the theme of Marriage. This is a huge topic and we have been doing some great research discovering some forgotten aspects of the rituals of marriage. Did you know Queen Victoria began the tradition of wearing a white wedding dress? I have also done three interviews of some of my friends about their marriages and I am impressed and humbled by their answers. I love that my friends value individual growth through partnership.

I am still taking Onye Ozuzu's Afro Modern dance class and I love that class! I love it for all the newness of the African influence and for keeping me dancing. My program is physical based theatre-we have also been doing a Butoh class with a guest artist from Japan, but I need big movement and full on dancing to keep me connected to movement. I am happy that it is not ballet or Modern as it is taught in San Francisco.
The newness is refreshing and engaging.

I also saw the second year MFA's show on the Tibetan Book of the Dead entitled Luminous Emptiness. It was a beautiful production. It was Butoh based and directed and choreographed by Katsura Khan, the Japenese guest artist. I so appreciated the full essence of the show and vision to capture the unknown elements portrayed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I saw a production on this topic at Dance Mission Theatre last Winter/Spring and I left feeling disappointed and disgruntled with the way the Western understanding made it feel trite and transparent. I felt that so much ego was on stage, not the death of ego as discussed in the book. In Luminous Emptiness I saw the performers trying to strip themselves of ego to investigate the intentions of the piece. The choreography and direction laid that ground work.

Snow, snow, snow. I am thrown off. I don't know how to deal with this element. I know I did it in England, but I don't remember the snow being as much as it is here. I know it will all melt away in a day or two-that's what everyone says about Colorado weather-it doesn't last for long. But, it is making me retreat into my space, my body, my head. I guess I have to give myself time to find my way to work with this element, or have someone else introduce me to the joys of living in snow or just the realities of living in snow.

I did have a nice invitation last night that got me out of my house and into the snow world for a little bit. A fellow Boulderite who lives not too far away from me invited me to dinner at his place. He came and picked me up and I shuffled through the snow on my sidewalk/street to get to his car. We had a great dinner at his lovely home. It was nice to be engaging with a person outside of my daily world and who is generous to share his delicious food! This graduate student was completely thankful!

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