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Sunday, June 3, 2012

And now for dance....


5/31





Sal from Church Mutual has come for the final walk through. It feels like we’ve got a good shot at getting a comprehensive policy through without breaking the bank. He seems seriously appreciative of what church  means in its fullest sense.

Ted drops in just to check up on how things are going.  And then Raven comes in. Wants to pick up some of the stuff he’s left here. I am very depressed to hear that he’s currently with a group camping  out at Pier 72. Including Jeanie. . It hurts me more than I can say that people who used to be part of a cooperative at West-Park are now living on the docks. The fact that their own choices contribute to this doesn’t help in the least. He is a good  man at heart. No way he should be homeless. He offers to help with graphic design. When he leaves, Danielle and I both are feeling depressed.


Dance people are coming in, getting ready for tonight’ s performances. Marc has found an old amp and  wants us to see it and understand what he wants to do with it. 

I’ve got to go to  a critical Presbytery meeting I really don't want to go to. What I really wan to do is go to the annual Dos Pueblos garden party and art auction to support work in Nicaragua.  And I have to go directly from there to St.Peter’s church, the oldest Catholic Church in the city, to speak at the 27th Annual Interfaith Assembly Convocation and Overnight Vigil in support of the homeless.
I leave and get back to the church in time for the late night performance of Movement Research. Steve is working it for us because we haven’t heard from Teddy in almost 40 hours. Yet another burden on my heart. In the sanctuary, final performance In the music concert is taking place. Soemone playing a Japanese instrument an din the balcony a drummer. Twenty minutes of unplanned improvisation seeking  synchronicity.
Up in the gym, the late dance performance is taking place. We have in the past several months hosted events that have stretched the boundaries of theatre and music. Now we have done the same with dance. Postmodern diesn’t really describe it. Though that's part of it. Boundaries of genre are pushed. Boudaries of gender, of sexual orientation are crossed with intention and also as if they don’t even exist. Power pop music ( I got the power...) provides the background for a solo performance expressing  alienation and the search for identity. Two muscular and androgynous Latinos do an amazing piece to reggaeton. Two dancers bring down the lights an pass out candles for people to light and pass one to the other. I’m aware that we did this exact same ritual at St. Peters a few hours ago as the participants left for an overnight vigil in City Hall Park. Its an evocation of every Christmas Eve service. And again, the mixing of genres and structures takes me back to Bill from Portland who helped us reopen this space and redefine what ritual space means.  The visceral connections are always intuitively clear to me, even if not to everyone else.
Afterwards, I go to Mc Alpin where the bar has been set up. They’ve arranged the  tables in a zig zag format for creation of a timeline  of dance history that has also been inscribed with moments like the Port Huron  Statement and assassinations of Jack Kennedy and  Robert and MLK. How can you record art hisotry of any kind without the social context in which it was created? I’m approached nervously by those who haven’t met me before. It’s my first night here. It’s that minister thing. That reality makes them anxious, expecting judgment. Apologies  for one of our rawer nights. The next performances will be more traditonal. I explain that this is why we're here..to provide a space where you can, as the sign says,  Dream. Real. Hard...push the boundaries, make it real. Take us some place unexpeted. One of the coordinators tells me she was raised  Presbyterian and her mom was big in Presbyterian Women, back in the day. Bobby has come in and is being well taken care of. Steve tells me that Teddy has checked in. I breathe a sigh of relief.

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