by Cody Wilbourn, Invertigo Company Member since 2012
I asked Cody to write a blog entry about his experiences in creating Waiting at Home for the Witches. We're performing the piece on Saturday as part of the Awakenings and Beginnings Festival and I've already posted some of my thoughts on the piece. Cody's writing surprised me, because I didn't know about his personal struggles during the creation process. This gives you a look behind the curtain, beyond the stage and into the heart of the piece. ~ Laura
Working on this piece was a real pain. Not that the piece itself was irritating, but I learned how difficult it is to work on a dance piece about waiting, while you are actually waiting for someone.
This is someone who had just about reached significant-other status, who then had to move to Australia for work. WHO MOVES TO AUSTRALIA?!? I digress.
Waiting for someone is a multifaceted experience. There is a physicality and emotionality to 'the wait' - whether you're anxiously tapping your foot, nervously twiddling your thumbs, or smiling for photographs when you don't really mean it. We subconsciously turn to movement of the body to mark the passage of time. In our dance, we delve into this physical tracing of time, working with gesture, speed, and suspension, to embody faulty human metronomes.
Let's not forget about our feelings. We feel, therefore we move. Part of our process of conveying the emotional aspect of waiting was to set an external focal point. In our case, this took the form of an imaginary door just off of downstage right. Our loved one could be coming through that door at any moment. This pretend doorway gave us dancers a direction to channel our hope, frustration, and longing. Nothing is certain in life. It's not guaranteed we'll be happy, achieve our dreams, or see a loved one again. So, what we usually do is work and put effort into making those concepts a reality. This puts the sense of taking control of destiny in our own hands. BUT, in a relationship there is no cosmic, ironclad promise that your other will return. Life is uncertain. So we wait... and we hope.
Needless to say, finding my character for this piece was not a challenge. The articulate choreography and in-depth direction of Invertigo's artistic director, Laura Karlin, allowed me the chance to immerse myself in the physical and emotional experience of waiting to the (n)th degree. And dance, as part of its many wonders, can have a very therapeutic effect.
While the piece hit a little too close to home, the heart and authenticity of this particular work helped me to put my personal outlook into perspective. The haltingly purgatorial state of waiting will, hopefully, sweeten the reunion. (It had better!)
P.S. Totally off topic, but remember to recycle, people!!