JESSICA'S REFLECTIONS ON APAP
By: Jessica Warchal-King
Traveling to NYC’s City Center shortly after the New Year begins feels like a homecoming. KYL/D has been participating in the APAP NYC Conference for many years – when the company began in NYC and for the past few years, as a Philly-based company.
APAP – the Association of Performing Arts Presenters – is a conference where dance, theatre, and music take over NYC (even more than they already do). Presenters and presenting organizations have the opportunity to meet, see, and experience a whole lot of performing art and artists in a very short amount of time. It’s overwhelming for a dancer and a participant, but so much fun!
I see old friends who are dancing around the country and make new friends and connections with artists that I meet, see in class or the dressing room, and at other shows. I experience so much dance! And I’m reminded that the dance community is so very intimate, but so very vast.
Performing at APAP and seeing a multitude of artistic voices reminds me why KYL/D is unique. Like is often the case with familiar things, I sometimes forget that the work we’re doing is so focused and intentional and clear in the way that Kun-Yang values the disciplined, moving body and the way that he trains dancers to embody a sense of humanity. When we’re deep in the “doing of it”, sometimes, we can forget that KYL/D and Kun-Yang’s CHI Awareness Practice has a magic that I haven’t experienced in some other genres, as a mover and as a viewer.
As I mentioned in my post about Kaatsbaan, touring has a way of helping the group to bond. Most intense, new situations that a group encounters together, do. But in a dance company, this quick, intense common goal is an experience we encounter more than most organizations. Showing and seeing work at APAP allows me the opportunity to remember and reflect on how “Kun-Yang Lin doesn’t choreograph dances as much as meditations in motion… infused with presence, mindfulness, and a deep sense of quietude” (Times Union, 2014). I’m reminded that I’m a small part of this unit working to inspire “cross-cultural approaches to community and self-discovery” and ignite “conversations about meaning and mystery” (KYL/D Mission).
Not all dance does this, but not all dance aspires to. I’m grateful to be working within an organization that jives with my own deeply held belief systems and values, but also challenges me physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
After our three performances Friday night, I woke Saturday morning to a white haze floating through and dusting New York. The snowy-fog echoed my mind-body space as I processed the previous evening. In two sets, we rotated the stage with our Philly friends and neighbors, Koresh, SHARP, and BalletX. I don’t often see these folks out of “working hours” of class or performances, so it was nice to reconnect in the dressing room. In both sets, KYL/D performed excerpts of ONE: Immortal Game, Santuario (premiering in April at Prince Theatre) and HOME/ S. 9th St. We performed most of HOME in a full set at 10pm. Repeating the performances so closely together allowed me the opportunity to dive more deeply into the research of performing the work and understanding it – even more so because these works are familiar in my body. I look forward to returning to CHI MAC for Tuesday’s rehearsal and hearing more about what the other dancers learned from the experience and how the performances inform Kun-Yang’s creative research for our upcoming performances at Prince Theater in April.
A giant thank you to Koresh for hosting the Philly showcase and for our agent, KMP Artists, for helping us to share and promote HOME/ S 9th St!
A giant thank you to all of our friends – old and new – who were in our audiences for the opening of the conference!
Interested in having KYL/D come to your community? Send Ken an email at Ken@kyld.org and check out our PRESS page!
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