We gather 4 days a week. We gather in 2 ‘s and 3’s. Never more. We are masked. Even for a drink of water, we leave the room to take the mask off and sip. It’s a different kind of ritual, creating during a pandemic. It’s not possible to dwell in the creative empathy that frames the best days of rehearsal. You can’t look up and across the space to a dancer on a wall doing something profound, then go back to your own making. This isn’t happening right now. We are gathered in the studio and we are still in isolation. As company dancers and a choreographic director, we are not really soloists. We don't like to create alone. But the safety demands of Covid protocols make aloneness necessary.
Still. We are thrilled to have somewhere to go every day where we can invert, invent, conjure. Where the structure of a day includes making something unpredictable happen. Where there are at least a couple of dancers to weave movement and meaning together within a conceptual frame. Where we laugh, bang our shins, cuss, talk things over, trick gravity, and try to repeat the crazy thing we just made happen a minute ago.
We dance while the NBA cancels its games in protest. We dance while our collaborator at San Quentin Prison gets sick with Covid, then gets better. We dance as police shoot a Black man 7 times and a 17-year-old White nationalist commits a public execution via machine gun. We dance in preparation for when we can perform in public again. We dance as radical empathy. We dance to broaden the path toward justice, as Black rebellion calls us in.