Monday, May 25, 2009

We need this here

The jump-off point for our two week tour of Chile is the city of Talca. Its a great place for a beginning.

We have two main tasks at hand here in the administrative capital of the Maule region south of Santiago. The first is underway as of today. A three-day workshop for 32 students who have come from north and south (its not particularly challenging to come from east and west as the country only takes about two hours to go from the Andean border with Argentina and the Pacific).

"We need this here," Isabel Croxatto, our Tour Director and the choreographer of our work, "Revolution of the Butterflies," said to me, Chris Morgan and Jason Ignacio in the cafe adjacent to the Teatro Regional del Maule this evening just after the first workshop wrapped up. "People are hungry for this, and there is no one to offer it." It sounded exactly like the words we had heard just a few weeks ago 8,300 miles away in Amman, in Ramallah, in Nazareth (that's not a number I made up, it really is that far away from where I write this).

When I think about the challenges we face in the States every day, for audience, for the dancers who can do the work and the choreographers who can create dances which last, I am constantly frustrated. Yet to step outside the States, to the countries we have been and the one in which we are now, is to realize we also have an extraordinary number of resources and advantages. It is so often just a matter of circumstances and perspective.

To be here, in Chile, and to have the opportunities we have here is both an honor and humbling. To see the anticipation, and the excitement, on the faces of the dancers who came into the theater today for the workshop was inspiring. Christopher has opted to do a three day workshop centered around his dance "Thirst." Using a similar process to the one he employed in the original creation of the work, he's got the students exploring, through movement and writing, the questions of "what they thirst for." Its an elegant process, and it inspires the students to both create and absorb.

The images in the previous post (just below this one) are from today's workshop.

The second part of our time here is devoted to two performances on Thursday at the theater, which is one of the most elegant and beautiful we've ever danced in. Its reminiscent, as Alicia mentioned today, in some ways of the Concert Hall at Strathmore. Not quite as large a house, but close and with an exceptionally fine stage. Isabel mentions its one of the finest in Chile and I can believe it. We're looking forward to Thursday's shows.

More in a bit.

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