Sunday evening was my company’s dance show. I’m sorry you missed it, but I did warn you.
The journey to staging the seventh installation of Bricolage was a special one. I had only just joined arabesK Dance Collective around March this year whereas most of the members had been there for a while. I jumped straight into learning choreography and enjoyed meeting the multitude of new friends. There is something to be said for finding the right fit with a dance company, like finding the right fit with jazz shoes: when it’s good, it’s great.
We spent the ensuing months getting to know choreography and each other, coping with our crazy/wonderful artistic director’s tendency to start and finish a dance in the same day, learning our strengths, and shoring up our weaknesses. It was a work-in-progress, and we grew together.
Time passed. Issues cropped up and were dealt with, or fretted over. We cried, we laughed, we learned to breathe. We made sacrifices and in between we found moments to shine, feeding off each others’ energy through the sweat and frustration. It is humbling and gratifying to be a part of this close-knit bunch of wildly different people, all here for various reasons, but who are all determined to show up and try.
Our once a week rehearsals weren’t ideal, but we played the hand we were given without losing. Time not spent rehearsing was spent bonding, or in deep discussion about some aspect of performance. It was always time well spent.
So of course our production, with all its flaws and foibles, was a crowning achievement. And as our artistic director beamed with bashful pride in the heat of the stage lights, I reflected that we had really struggled though challenges and broken out of the confines of our day-to-day existence to give this moment of our lives to this bricolage. Her bricolage. Our bricolage.
And I’m looking forward to doing it all again.
For all you patrons of the arts out there who happen to be in Kingston – or who will happen to be in Kingston in November – arabesK Dance Collective will be hosting their season on Sunday, November 17 at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts (UWI, Mona) at 6PM.
It is aptly titled Bricolage (from the French le bricolage) which means:
Bricolage (n): the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work created by such a process
It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. Kyisha Patterson (artistic director) is a brilliantly inventive choreographer, and she constantly pushes her dancers beyond our boundaries. The result is a collection of choreographic works of unparalleled spirit and touching emotion.
I know November is the month of dance seasons, but all the other shows cost more. Really, you’d be saving a fortune just coming to see us dance. Because of course you were already planning to support the Arts. Weren’t you?
If you weren’t, come anyway.
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