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CHARGE: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

October 30th 2015  6:00pm-8:00pm and 9:00pm-10:00pm

Kara McDonald

One of my students, and dear friends, has been battling breast cancer for the past year and a half.  It was a top priority for me to make it to Santa Fe to be with her.  I wanted to be here sooner.

This project is predominately about working with people whom I don’t know, however I knew there would be a few exceptions along the way.  Kara being the first of them.  She just finished her last chemotherapy and I knew we needed to dance together.

We began by catching up on health issues, family stuff, and romance.  I told her about CHARGE and she was in, immediately.  I was really excited about collaborating, to make something co-created by the two of us.  I have so far created with people in an all “follow them”, or “follow me” way.

We just started moving.  I used some of my Pilobolus technique to open my mind and body and receive.  There was some awkward moments in the beginning, but we were both patient and kept discovering.  We kept digging physically without much dialogue.  We banked what we loved without counting or solidifying too much detail.  It was beautiful.  We were just moving, laughing, and connecting.

We took a dinner break after about 2 hours and walked her crazy ass 9 month old puppy to grab some food.  Then back to creating for another hour.  We video’d the piece for memory and agreed to hit downtown Santa Fe the next day to find a great place to document.

Day 2
Halloween day!  We taped in numerous places.  Warehouse 21: a youth safe house, and a few spots in the park.  My favorite was the tunnel.  Kara and I were inspired to re-work a couple movements to adapt to the tunnel.  It was a truly beautiful experience to dance the sequence numerous times in her comfortable surroundings.  I don’t remember which take it was, but at the end when we were back face to face, I saw her struggle, I saw her victory,  I saw her fear, and I saw her strength.  It moved me to tears.  The rest of that story is really hers to tell.

We went to a local pub for Halloween festivities that night.  I wore a tiger onesie, stayed up late, got up early, hitched the trailer and on my way South to Carlsbad.

I think this is Raven’s favorite piece so far.  I sang this song over and over in my head for a full week following this event.  I love you Kara.

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