I’m walking the tightrope, at least that is what it feels like right now.
This summer I watched a documentary on early circus acts and was taken by a performer that was training to do back flips on the tightrope. I had such a visceral reaction to his performance. It wasn’t just the fact that he was so high off the ground, which alone makes my knees weak, but watching him flip over backwards, trusting his feet would find the narrow rope below, left me with sweaty palms and a racing heart. Each time he attempted the flip, his body would take on a very specific posture- he appeared completely still, yet totally fluid.
As a dancer, I could somewhat relate to this concept. When a dancer is trying to find their balance, it’s never stillness they seek, it’s fluidity, adaptability. When a dancer finds balance, they are never really “still,” they are in constant motion, albeit barely perceptible motion.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, our entire piece, and the process of creating it, is inspired by the tightrope. Our creative and motivated group of dancers and musicians have been thinking about tightropes, literal and figurative. We talked about how the tight rope is an analogy for life- the thin line between the past and future, a place of tension that begs us to face our fears and discover a sense of balance. Most importantly, it’s a place that encourages us to trust the first step into the unknown, no matter how precarious it feels.
This is my favorite part of creating a collaborative performance- I never really know what I will end up with. It feels a lot like doing a back flip and trusting we’ll land where we need to. So, our journey to the TEDx stage begins!