Gratitude

Flying at the Lobero

Life moves forward.  The curtain has come down on DANCEWORKS 2010.  Months of planning.  Hundreds of decisions, large and small. Fund-raising. Hours of on-line promotion.  Facebook ad Nauseum.  Doubting, cajoling, laughing, and ultimately, trusting that it would all work out.

Rehearsals (about 150 hours), videos, photos. Anxiety transforming into elation. Respecting process as much or more than product.  The magical synergy of live performance with a responsive, laughing, clapping audience.  I got a first hand lesson for the deep longings we each harbor for creating community.

After years of presenting, I’ve learned to try and temper expectations.  There are too many wild cards.  We seriously had no clue as to how many local people would stick with the rehearsal demands of Bolero SB. Participants ebbed and flowed for the first few weeks.  A scant  two weeks before the performances, I learned from the Box Office that we had sold a total of 36 tickets for two nights.  That information jolted me out of any sense of complacency I was pretending to put on.We chanted the self-consoling mantra, “It’s such a last-minute town.”  Infuriatingly last minute, from my point of view.

Ultimately, as performance dates arrived, we all knew we had done everything within our power to make the finale of the residency a success, and just held our breath. Everyone pitched in to pitch the performances to anyone who would listen.  I really cared about box office sales for the performances this year, because  I wanted the participants of Bolero SB to be rewarded for their commitment and hard work.  And, I wanted Keigwin and Company dancers to be rewarded with a full or almost full house!

Larry Keigwin’s residency surpassed all expectations on all fronts.  I am experiencing gratitude, which Gertrude Stein suggested, if kept silent isn’t worth much to anyone.

So Thank YOU to so many for contributing to the success of DANCEWORKS 2010 . To David Asbell,  who takes the risks necessary to create art.  To Larry Keigwin, whose humanity, appreciation of diversity, talent and warmth set the tone for the entire residencey. To Keigwin + Company dancers whose youth, enthusiasm and willingness to go where most mortals fear to tread was infectious. To Chris Lancaster, the cellist who left us breathless.  To the entire hard-working and enthusiastic staff of the Lobero Theatre, and especially to Marianne Clark whose quick responses to the inevitable glitches is always appreciated and professional.  To our donors, individuals and foundations. You make it all possible.  To our SUMMERDANCE Board. To writer Rachel Howard for her work to promote DANCEWORKS.  To audiences who came to watch the performances April 23 and 24. To the local media for their generous coverage.  To my family for all their patience, love and support.  And of course, to all the participants who willingly trashed their usual schedules and took the leap to join Bolero SB.  It took a devoted village.

Keigwin and Company dancers on the SB beach

Gary and Christopher in rehearsal of Exits

Larry and Aaron in rehearsal

I’d like to share two quotes about gratitude which feel relevant:

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton


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