You guys! It turns out starting a business while working full time and trying to be a present parent is harder and more time-consuming than going to grad school while doing the same. You know that joke about congratulations-now-here’s-your-mop-and-bucket? Totally. True.
Just yesterday when I had a private lesson cancel last minute, did I take that precious hour to do a yoga practice or work out a new phrase or to sit down and read or write? Nope. I grabbed the bucket and mop and gambled that the floor would be dry in time for the next class. I am so good at mopping. And when I took the bucket into the janitor’s closet to fill her up for the job and saw glitter in the sink, I turned into SLJ from that snake movie: “There better be no mother $%#ing glitter on my mother $%#ing dance floor!”
I am so good at mopping that I have become convinced that the physical act of mopping will feature heavily in my next dance. I’m brewing a dance about time and the suspension of reality therein. A clock with no hands. And mopping.
Because time is the thing now. I’ve been bending it with some success since September. I’ve looked at each week’s schedule and routinely observed that I am expected to be physically present in two, or sometimes three, places at once. In different States. My daughter has a Hermione Granger Time Turner necklace. I look at it wistfully. It would be so cool if that thing really worked.
So I’m writing this today on the bus heading into the Port Authority. On the way to the first leg of today’s unique marathon. I will take the first hour of a two-hour class. I will leave class early to rehearse Fledermaus at the Met for several hours. During breaks in this rehearsal I will be simultaneously planning my next class and answering emails about the Winter semester. I will leave this rehearsal early to take the bus back to New Jersey to teach my Theatre Dance class. (Here I will see my daughter for approximately 3 minutes. I’m building us a future, kid! Mwah!). I will lock the studio and take three trains to the East Village to observe and give notes at the dress rehearsal of a production of Othello I choreographed. I will reverse that commute to arrive home by approximately midnight. I will have a drink.
Yesterday was similarly varied and epic. Likewise tomorrow. I consume a lot of coffee.
Coffee aside, the only way this dynamic puzzle works is because I have a husband who does the bulk of the childcare and homework and guinea pig feeding. (Holla JG!). But also, I am able by constitution and training to arrive at each moment fully present and embodied. This is a capacity evolved from a lifetime of dancing. Dancers must be intellectually nimble - to jump quick-fire from task to task, moment to moment, idea to idea. Heck, job to job.
You guys! This is true in artistry as well. The best dancers are those who appear to have more time. In art, as in life, the best are those who can willfully bend time. (Holla Sylvie Guillem!). I don’t presume to be the best at any of this, but I do certainly do the time bending. And the mopping. And there better be no mother $%#ing glitter on my mother $%#ing dance floor!
Just wait, this will all be in my next dance.