We stand at the threshold of 2017 and 2018. What awareness have you gained from the past that you carry with you?
2018 is an important, celebratory year for KYL/D! As I stand in this door, I carry with me echoes of the past and an excited anticipation for connecting in the future.
Ten years ago, in 2008, KYL/D began our adventure in Philadelphia with a commitment to fostering a microsphere of Philadelphia’s diverse population and narrative through contemporary dance. Former Governor Ed Rendell foreshadowed all that KYL/D and its home, the CHI Movement Arts Center (CHI MAC), would bring: “a place where the entire Philadelphia community can experience the art of multicultural creative dance expression.” In the past ten years, CHI MAC has become an anchor of the dance community through The Story Circles of Faith Project and HOME/ S. 9th St., Open Studio Showings, the InHale Performance Series, and space, workshops, and classes of every genre and for all ages and movement levels. It has been the research laboratory for CHI Awareness Practice and KYL/D’s performance investigation, providing a depth of experiences for the local, national, and international community.
KYL/D is a drop of water in the ocean, creating a ripple of inspiring cross-cultural approaches to community and self-discovery, igniting conversations about meaning and mystery.
But the echoes of KYL/D’s journey reach even further into the past. Kun-Yang has been researching his CHI Awareness Practice since 1998 and creating dances since 1988.
8 is an auspicious number in many religions and cultures.
As we pass through this door, into the unknown of 2018, I also hold a reflection from Kun-Yang. “An artist’s job,” he said, “is to bring people to awareness. I can’t tell them what to think, but I can open up their awareness; to bring them to a place where they can connect with something (larger than themselves).”
“The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become…. there is a difference between arrogance when inflating your ego, and confidence when one truly gets closer to God. One feels large, while the other feels small. Why? Because a man of wisdom understands that he is just a small pea in a sea of infinite atoms, and that in the end — we are all connected. And did you not know that the smaller a creature is, the bolder its spirit?”
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
I look forward to 2018 not being an ending or beginning, but a continuation of this journey into mystery, through Faith Project.
~ Jessica Warchal-King
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Major support for the Faith project has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.