Last weekend, KYL/D presented an excerpt of Faith Project/ THE DOOR at Temple University’s Faculty Dance Concert.
One by one, shadows enter the stage, appearing behind a sheer curtain. Their movement is arresting. I know these dancers well and I’ve seen this sequence in rehearsal, but with the lighting (design by Nanette Hudson Joyce) I only see the outline of their bodies and shapes. In the darkness of the theater, this masks the individuality of the dancers and invites me to project my own story into their movement and into their community. They raise fists, widen their stances, contract their torsos. What are they fighting? What am I fighting? For what do they stand? For what do I? What are they seeking? What am I?
I’m reminded of Kimerer’s questions - What do I most love? What do I most fear? From where do I draw my greatest strength?
The sound around me is deep and rhythmic - is it coming from the speakers in the theater, my heart, or the dancers? (Does it matter?) I’m enveloped in the darkness and transported to a place where I’m safe in the mystery of the movement and the questions it evokes. The dancers move from behind the sheer curtain and through the space. Seemingly suddenly, three dancers are left on stage. Cinematically, it feels as though we’ve just zoomed in on these three stories. I’m aware of my individuality within the collective community. KYL/D has established that I’m not alone on this journey - as evidenced by the multitude and diversity of people in the audience and on the stage - but this zooming in reminds me that I do have my own story.
Often, as a performer, I was only aware of my own role in the work. Stepping away and sitting among the audience allowed me to see the larger perspective and the ways that the individual pieces - the research, the dancers and their movement, the costumes, the lighting, the music, and the set - complete a greater whole. I was entranced by the experience of THE DOOR excerpts and left looking forward to the upcoming Open Studio Showings and performances March 22-24 at Prince Theater.
~ 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.