Saturday, July 10, 2010

This is how it's done

In the '80s, I moved to New York to be a modern dancer, and (almost) every morning, I took a ballet class from Jocelyn Lorenz. While I stood at the barre next to Gina Gibney or floundered across the floor, I was surrounded by people who danced for Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, and others.

As much as Jocelyn taught me—and that was a lot—I realized that I could also learn a lot just by watching these other dancers. Translating what I saw into my body was rarely accomplished, but at least I could see, up close, how dance was done when it was done really well.

Last night, I went to the Floating Bridge Review gala launch reading—what a wonderful night! Many poets read--two poems each, one from the Review and one free choice. The result was an evening packed with powerful poetry—and a lot of humor. I was in awe—inspired, but also increasingly filled with doubt when surrounded by so much poetry prowess.

I walked out feeling—yes, still inspired—but also kind of like a hack, like I didn't even know where to start. Then I remembered watching Rob Besserer in Jocelyn's class. At the reading, I'd seen and heard how it's done. I can learn and grow from that. Now, to write.

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