I am performing this weekend! I am a dancer and try to perform as much as opportunity allows. We started the rehearsal process for this weekend's show last fall. I managed to rehearse a few duets with my best friend and then in Nov. I broke my foot. I broke it while teaching a modern class at the dance studio where I teach....thank god for L&I! I performed at an event in my walking cast (my costume is a long floor length dress) in the beginning of Dec. and continued rehearsals in my cast. I had so many Dr appt.s and Physical Therapy it put fertility treatments on the back burner for several months. It was a super shitty time for me. I was (and am) grieving the loss of my Pit Bull, trying to cope with the emotional toll of our infertility and then, bam! broken foot.
The piece we are performing is about princesses, warriors and queens. It explores what it means to be a woman warrior without the sexual constraints that are usually cast upon that role, ex. we are not wearing metal bras and chastity belts. Throughout the process we had many group discussions and writing assignments examining what it meant to us personally to "be" a princess, a warrior and a queen. We talked about the "wild women" and what that mean in our own lives. We read folk stories from around the world that had a female warrior as the main character.
One section of the dance starts with us fighting each other, wrestling, knocking each other down onto the ground and sticking out our tongues and hissing ferociously at the audience (imagine Maori warriors). This progresses into screaming and screaming and screaming until we all end up crashing to the ground. It is really emotional for me and I find myself in tears every time. It is supposed to represent our frustration and anger which I feel like I have pouring out of me these days. We then move into our own individual squares of light and have simultaneous solos. These solos are called our "well solos" and we are supposed to be in the bottom of our well. We have hit rock bottom, now what? I end up sobbing and looking like an idiot once again. The whole section I am thinking "fuck yes!, I AM in the bottom of my well, how the fuck do I get out?" Hopefully the emotion that is coming through will add something to the performance, otherwise I get idiot of the year award.
|Me as the "Bloody Queen". Lately I usually look this pissed off.|
Ok, now I finally get to my Offrenda. I have to say I am so excited for mine! In an adjacent room to the theater each dancer is setting up her own Offrenda. An Offrenda (from my understanding) is like an alter. This alter is paying homage to the hardships in our lives we have experienced and overcome. At first I was really struggling with how I would create my Offrenda. I wasn't sure if I should put pictures of my dog and step-mother in law who died several years ago and go it that direction or what?? Then it came to me. It was perfect. I love it and cant wait to have people see it.
This is my Offrenda:
The Offrenda is contained inside the wooden baby doll cradle my father made me when I was about 5 year old. It has a canopy with a heart cut out just over where the doll's head would lie. There is also a heart cut out at the foot of the cradle. The cradle rocks. At the head of the cradle I put the fertility goddess that my mother had the whole time I was growing up. I made her give it to me about a year ago but it hasn't done shit for me yet. The fertility goddess is in a seated position with hands on her knees and between her legs a baby's head and arms are shooting out. She fits perfectly under the canopy of the cradle with the cut out heart framing her head like a crown, it's just too perfect! I filled the rest of the cradle with dirt and set a candle at the feet of the goddess and her baby. I will set out 3 little dishes filled with different seeds, each representing the Princess, Warrior and Queen. I have instructions written out for the audience members to choose a seed and plant it in the Offrenda and then gently rock it while saying these words (watch out, it's cheesy but I didn't want to say think good thoughts!): Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart, light of my soul. I will feel you. I will bear you. I will hold you in my arms. I told you, major cheese balls.
|My Offrenda (sadly you cant really see the baby coming out between her legs)|
I realized that THIS is the most hardship (Ha! I just accidentally typed hardshit...I may have to start using that) I have ever experienced. I have never felt this prolonged of a deep sadness, anger, hopelessness. I have never before felt like I had such little control over my life and my body. THIS is the biggest obstacle I have ever faced and I WILL conquer it like the princess, warrior, queen that I am. Now I have to go get ready to scream my ass off and melt onto the floor in a snotty sobbing mess in front of 100 plus people. Merde to me!
Ps. picture of my Offrenda to follow as soon as I get it set up in the theater.
Pps. We also collectively made a "Scapecoat". We wrote down all the derogatory words/names/phrases that we have been called in our lives, by other people and/or names we call ourselves. I think you can find one of my words on the front left. Also a very therapeutic exercise!