Photo: Jeffrey Anderson
I will say right from the start that it feels strange to post this picture. Even though I am a performer. Even though I was for a number of years, a model.
About ten years ago I stopped wanting my picture taken. Age? Probably. Something else in the mix as well, I am sure. Something to do with hiding. However, I am redoing my website, and it was suggested that new headshots were a good idea. So I trekked to Glen’s Falls and Jeffrey (with wife Laura and new baby Jeffrey in attendance) took some pictures. I am not shy with Jeffrey. So it felt ok to let myself be seen.
The reason that I bring this up is that I wrote yesterday about seeing the Wim Wenders film, Pina. What I was aware of as I watched the astonishing dancers of her company was the absence of mirror in their dancing. Their pure, wild absorption in the movement and the moment. From their words, I understood that Pina was their mirror and their witness. The big, allowing container for their movement that let them push themselves off precipice after precipice of their dancing and their fear.
As Shunryu Suzuki says in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: “When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”
Today when I was in my studio, I turned my big mirror around, so that it was only the space and the music holding me. At first, this was disconcerting – we dancers are mirrored creatures, seeking reflection, affirmation, information. But then the movement began to tumble and spill. Almost as if Pina herself were in the room, urging me to dance my longing, my love.