SPACE/TIME, Body & Pole’s first ever Showcase, was an absolute hit this weekend. Both showings were completely sold out. Due to Kelly McLaughlin’s master planner skills, the show was special for a plethora of reasons. The entire studio looked and felt as if it were from another stratosphere. Every detail was considered, from the entrance to the building, which was decorated with billowing space colored clouds – to volunteers decked out in galaxy print with light-up helmets serving drinks.
The studio where performances were held was completely transformed. When I performed, I felt like I was flying through the skies. There were no mirrors staring back at me, the spotlights were in perfect accordance with the musical cues, and the smoky atmosphere felt heavenly. I was flying.
The late night rehearsals, and early morning meetings, the mini freak-outs when out props would begin to malfunction, to the proper recourse when group members had emergencies and had to drop out – were all worth it. This is all the easy stuff behind performances.
What I find to be the most challenging (and gratifying) part of performing, is closely related to one my favorite concepts, “the personal is political”. This slogan was popularized during the second wave of contemporary feminism. It was used to underscore the inherent connections between personal experience and larger social and political structures. When I think of this quote, it’s usually in relation to performing. Sharing your art and yourself with an audience is incredibly personal, but can easily become political, depending on the intention set forth.
This sentiment was found in several of the pieces from the showcase. There were pieces that emanated personal stories, experiences, pain and hardships, feelings, etc. Movement is powerful on it’s own, but truly takes on another life when others are allowed to engage. This is when the magic of the personal-political happens. Many of the stories from this past weekend fell into this category, such as; dealing with severe depression, internal strife about gender identity, or even being in full drag & dancing to music in your native tongue.
It is no coincidence that this showcase theme was SPACE/TIME. The showcase extended beyond the choreography of the pieces and into another world all it’s own. I can’t wait to see where the next showcase takes us.
Moving In the Spirit,
For photos and videos from our Showcase, check out our Facebook page!