Dear Readers, I’m grateful that you and I get to return to this process every week. Like the dancers do in rehearsal, and the faith practitioners do in their practices, we have the opportunity to come together as a community (albeit a virtual one) to explore and ask questions around truth, meaning, mystery and the way these influence and intersect with contemporary culture and our daily lives. Thank you for joining me, online.
Please join me, physically, at the third Open Studio and particularly at the World Premiere Performances of Faith Project at Prince Theater. We can experience the work together as bodily selves!
Early in this process, I identified several ways that faith and contemporary dance intersected, as I, the dance artists and the community participants engaged one another through the Story Circles. As we continue (in life and in the process of Faith Project/THE DOOR) I recognize another element that conversations about contemporary culture, faith and contemporary dance share...
Fear of not knowing. Fear of not understanding. Fear of not being enough. Fear of having a point of view. Fear of being wrong. Fear of being judged.
And, to an extent, fear of connecting. Fear of moving out of one’s individual space into a space that feels interwoven within a greater whole. Fear of being vulnerable in spiritual and physical form. Fear of the spaces between what we know and what is a mystery.
Indeed, fear was featured among Kimerer’s questions:
What do you most love?
What do you most fear?
What is the source of your greatest strength?
(a reminder, Kimerer challenges us to have the same, one-word answer for all three questions)
Kimerer asks us to identify the extremes, but in viewing excerpts of Faith Project/THE DOOR, an arts curator also offered her reflection that it is fear that keeps potential audiences away from contemporary dance.
In my personal experience, it’s also fear that keeps people away from conversations about faith. And, because of fear, people also avoid opportunities to connect - with their bodies, with other people, with hard questions and with the unknown.
I want to thank you, dear readers (and dancers, audience members, Story Circle participants and collaborators), for your fearlessness in engaging with this process. Thank you for boldly accepting challenges to explore questions of truth and mystery as they relate to ways we engage with the unknown and THE UNKNOWN. Thank you for (even if you didn’t realize it) sharing what you most love, what you most fear, and the source of your greatest strength. You are sharing these answers through your presence, your responses, your physical gestures, your conversations and the questions you ask.
Because we are bodily selves, perhaps we can’t always put these answers into words, but (Kimerer, I, Kun-Yang, the dance artists, and maybe you, trust that) the physical body knows and understands. Let’s boldly trust the dance occurring in the space between the questions of our mind and the knowledge of our body.
~ Jessica Warchal-King
NOTE: To make a comment on this blog, you do not need to make an account- just click "Comment(s)" in bottom left hand corner, write your comment in the comment box that appears, click "Post Comment..." then type in your first and last name and click "Comment as Guest")
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.