Reflecting…

Changchun University.

Changchun University.

 

China was an absolutely incredible, indescribable experience. I have fallen in love with dance, and overwhelmingly, life, again. What a refreshing lesson in exchange, adaptation, and exploration.

Our time in China was composed of a series of circumstantial adaptation. Although we were prepared for the challenges we might face while on the dance tour in regard to space, environment, emotional and mental state, cultural barrier, etc., I’m not sure we could have truly prepared ourselves for the adaptation that was often required. Despite digestive issues, emotional tragedies, pure physical exhaustion, and the like, we managed to perform and do the work we set out to do, which overwhelms me with a sense of pride, satisfaction, and impassioned inspiration.

My body continues to relish in the memory of what I can only describe as a moment of sincerely living. The experience of learning about another person through dance, liberated from the clutter of words and formality of introduction, is one that I will not soon forget. In fact, it is one that I never want to forget, as often it is these moments, so fragile and difficult to grasp, that enrich and give meaning to our otherwise scheduled, organized lives.

Workshop at Beijing Dance Academy. Photo by Leisa DeCarlo.

Workshop at Beijing Dance Academy. Photo by Leisa DeCarlo.

Allowing the language of dance to serve as the sole vehicle of communication commits an incomparable trust in our innate vulnerability as mere human beings. While dancing with Chinese students with whom I could not rely on the familiarity of verbal articulation, I learned a profound lesson in our hunger to connect. And even in absence of the mouth, such hunger can achieve satiety.

For a moment, and even if only for that, I discovered confidence in a complete stranger. Sometimes, I guess, the most intimate, beautiful connections result from the moments of greatest risk, when we fall with no certainty that we will be caught; when we follow with no assurance that we will be led.

I feel unparalleled gratitude to know passion for an art form that captures such value in life, for life…and honored to have had the opportunity to share. My life is all the richer.

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