Damn! All that happened and I was there to witness bits and pieces of collective memory, remembering muses and mentors we lost to consider what can be found
While it’s hard to comprehend where I’m nestled in this history, it’s a beautiful luxury to see it conjured and manifest in the present.
But, where in history do we fall? In the spotlight or the fringes?
Who does his-tory effect? Who does it forget?
It’s hard to fully comprehend the magnitude of the series, so I take it one event at a time...much like the neatly compartmentalized Danspace online calendar (with its generous white space and thick black borders).
Hosted in several places including St. Mark's Church, a historical landmark, marking space and time within the modern dance lineage. I feel the weight of its relevance materializes from myth to reality...PLUCKED from the pages of history books and annotated bibliographies.
I move through the space in a multitude of ways. Performer, spectator, witness, incubator, channel, vessel.
Moving with 21 enchantingly powerful black female and gender non-conforming artists for two hours of improvisation. Sisterhood nurtured with loving play and support. We weave through joy, grief, pride, strength, and love. #blackmagic
Joining the chorus of legendary downtown dance punk darlings Dancenoise. Riding a wave that collides with blood, dog biscuits, naked bodies, high heels, black dots, balloon bags tethered by chains, statues, and more...YES, more!
Royalty all around! Magnificent queens and kings! Talkbacks, voguing. Werk! Emotional overload.
I found sanity beneath the shroud of celebrating life while mourning death by looking right and left…feeling and finding a familial bond beyond blood. Pulsing, vibrating synergy. There are so many names. Each one we should name. It’s not just my responsibility. It is ours.
I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to my dance elders and my community, both here and long gone. I’m inspired by their determination to preserve, share, and celebrate legacies of beautiful humans, artists, and activists living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those who lived through loss and continue to live with the loss.
It doesn’t go away. It fuses with our DNA.
And with this reflection, I/we press onward. The conversation continues. It’s ongoing, cycling in and out of my/our consciousness. I am/ we are forever changed.
Scene Lanie Reene