about me

I'm Susie.

   I love dance. Though I love it more perhaps, than it loves me. In other words, my love of dance extends beyond my ability. I’m more excited these days as I look and see dance all around me. Oh, I did the requisite ballet, tap, and jazz in grade school, more ballet in college and discovered the vast and varied world of modern dance in graduate school. My body is peppered with the “movement-mementos” of so many great teachers  who would demonstrate and right before the "one" would toss out: “dance like you’re not sure if there is a home to go home to”  I danced with many inspiring and talented friends, and we went on to various careers in dance, and the arts. Still, I remained struck by this gift we all shared: how movement took over our bodies and transformed us. And somehow, even though I may not have shared the same measure of that gift, I had a part, I could follow it, see dance’s journey in the bodies of everyone in the classroom, and on the stage.

I was a graduate student in Art History, so during the day I poured over slides, painters, schools of painting, art criticism and design. Then I would dash off to to the consortium for a Lester--love those angles--Horton class with Jimmy Truitte. I was also moonlighting as the assistant theater apprentice at Contemporary Dance Theater (CDT) so maybe I could squeeze in a modern company class or master class with traveling companies like Ralph Lemon, Joe Goode, or Contraband. By evening, I was on headset, the assistant stagehand, sheathed in black. I padded stealthily, speeding to  change gels, set up stage props, and avoiding the dancers flying into the wings. I would help some breathless performer slide into another costume and send them whirling back to the stage.

Dance was more than technique and classes and performances. It was taking shape as a world of unseen ideas behind and at times separate from the people and performance. I wrote my master’s thesis on Simone Forti and Performance Art. In talking about her work of the Sixties and currently, Simone would say she was “working on the wonder.” The time I spent in Vermont and corresponding with Simone remains a pivotal part of my growth as a dancer and a writer, and led me to the American Dance Festival (ADF). At ADF I met, talked to and took class with some of the greats in modern dance nationally and internationally and we all shared our pulling passions for dance.

I kept looking at dance through different lenses of desire. First I wanted mastery of my own body, then to dance with a company, and then to choreograph. But even as I scaled these mountains and clambered towards others, something remained that I suppose was there all along: the curiosity, the belief, the need to recognize in words, the movement all around me; its various kinds of greatness. That’s what this blog is: to share that uncovering with you, to write about dance and how it moves us all; as we watch the performances and as we take to the floor ourselves. I want to keep that dialogue going-- to tell you what I can’t stop from seeing-- the miraculous way dance works in our world-- moving us.

1 comment:

  1. beautifully written, Susie. love it.


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