“The slow seasons”…..The title comes from current obsession with the slow movements of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons They are less spectacular, less iconic, and somehow indicative of the biological processes of seasonal change that happens underground or deep in a body over long expanses of time.
The idea for the piece I’ll be performing at Dance Matters came from a desire to challenge myself to slow down. I have lived much of my life a quick pace – kids used to make fun of how fast I always walked at school, friends often found me illogical and dreamy because the speed of my thoughts was faster than I could speak them sensibly, my husband despairs at my inability to just chill out and do nothing. As a dancer, my insecurities have caused me to adopt a motto of “it’s harder to hit a moving target”.
I’m coming to understand the speed is a strength, but also a disguise.
In “The slow seasons” I aim to slow my impulses down, gradually over the course of the choreography, to find glacial, geological time.
It’s resisting myself, and also social resistance.
As I write this, I have just finished a 9 hour rehearsal day in preparation for the premiere of my company’s show “8 minutes 17 seconds”, barraged by at least 50 emails that need my immediate attention, by a child who asks for a glass of water, help with homework, to walk him to Kung Fu (above is a picture of me hiding between stacks of chairs in the hallway of the community centre where his Kung Fu class is held and I am typing these words!)
The speed at which we are expected to communicate and respond, to find, process and act on the news of the day, the pressures of packing so many activities into one day…..well, I love it on the one hand.
But what if I just don’t do those things? What if I find a new speed within slowness, a new pace or pulse?
What if I don’t answer that email/text/post?
There may be an even faster pulse beneath my speed, but I need to slow down to hear its mysteries.