feeling sorry

Sad day, frustrating day. Time now for me to sit, listen to music, and write. But I can’t just write, write for myself. (Oh I have Pandora on and Jenny Lewis “It wasn’t me” just came on – its a sign). Anyway, I just like writing if it is to someone. One thing I am feeling is that what I am making is stupid and lame and will ever be any good because I am not smart enough or spend enough time on it. Aline – Regina Specktor just came on. I am starting to feel better just as I begin to cry. Why? Maybe emotions are rising to the surface and that feels better then the alternatives. I feel sad and sorry for myself. Exiting the bus at 8pm tonight it hit me or rather washed over me and I immediately wished for comfort, but who is there? just me and the pavement and the cold feeling sorry. What to do?

How do you self-sooth?

I’m no good at it. The easiest thing for me is to think of the other sad things and allow more waves to wash over me. pity party. Now Jenny Lewis is signing about the slow fade of love. Wow, this human bone creature lives for love, but Whitney Houston was right about the greatest love of all. self-love. and I think a lot of my sorriness stems from not actively loving myself enough. Looking at what has upset me is rooted in self-effacing habits and behaviors. Now Elliot Smith is singing – there is a sad someone, so sad he gave up life. I may be weak but I’m not givin’ in!

How to self-sooth:

listen to music
keep light low
write a letter to your friends
cry a little
hope will soon begin to present itself and your disposition will shift to a more optimistic perspective

I smile to think of you helping someone in Nordstroms while wearing heels, or breathing in thoughtfully before laying your hands on me, and how sometimes you hate people and I can relate because sometimes, I seem to like it better when they’re not around. I love to think about when you say “that’s horse shit”, and “mushie” and “I’m Sorry!!!” Reflecting on the amazing pictures we’ve taken I see how much you teach me. and you comfort me. thank you.

How to self-sooth:

instead of thinking about what and who I’ve lost

think about you.

Dancer Reflection – Sarah

Working with HNDC again after being away for several months has been very refreshing. I’m excited about what’s to come this year. The Apology Project has been yet another project with Michelle that has required me to push the edges of my comfort zone a little further. As a dancer, it forces you to get over your fears and try new things. Then, you realize that whatever you were afraid of isn’t so scary after all. That’s exactly what happened the first time I did Apology 1 with Olivia. I was nervous at first to try the partnering. However, I discovered that if you trust the other person, it’s thrilling to run and jump onto them. It’s equally thrilling to have them jump onto you when your back is turned, because you don’t know when they’re coming. Due to that experience, I’ve been thinking a lot about trust lately. It still amazes me that dancers are willing to trust each other so quickly.

I’ve also been noticing the way people apologize as I go about my daily life. Hearing “I’m sorry” in the grocery store or on BART right after rehearsal startles me because I’ve been so immersed in those words for the last few hours. I think they strike me because they are obviously so genuine, arising from real situations. That’s what we’re trying to achieve in the new improv section that involves our voices. It’s been very challenging to say “I’m sorry” from an honest place, while at the same time keeping track of all the parameters of the improv exercise. I’m looking forward to working with this challenge as we develop the new section.

Seattle Trip – Michelle K.

I enjoy making people experience feelings, whether it be confusion, guilt, joy, discomfort, humor – it’s all real experience. It’s fun to make people laugh. I haven’t regularly performed work that requires the dancers to use their voices, and I have to say it’s very challenging to project the voice, but at the same time express genuine reactions that don’t sound contrived or performed. I have a greater respect for actors now. I feel very present when I’m in The Apology Project. To make it work for myself I create situations in my mind and draw from past experiences to stay present and focused, and make these emotions real. At one point in the table dance when my head was connected to Olivia and I gradually broke away from her (my favorite part) I was so in it that I felt a wash of emotions come over me and got an extreme case goosebumps and almost started crying!
We weren’t expecting everyone to enter the space and immediately sit down on the hard cold floor. I guess when we marketed “a performance at 7pm” that registered as- “come in the space and sit down to watch a performance.” People like to stay put, which is fine. We were thinking they would roam around the room and change their positions as we changed our fronts. Even though the audience stayed stationary the room was filled with people who were very engaged and eager to participate. That felt good! The intimate setting provided a layer of honesty that I don’t experience as a performer during a traditional staged production.
I’m excited for the chance to do it all over again in SF!
The best part of the trip was the people who welcomed us with open arms to Seattle! The Cerf’s, Luke, and Tom were all so great. And I will never forget about the chickens!!
-Michelle K

Seattle Trip – Olivia

HNDC’s four days in Seattle was way more fun than a business trip should ever be.  That’s the beauty of surrounding yourself with artsy kids – talking about feelings is getting stuff done, and doing silly dances and running around a huge gallery to warm up while on the clock is probably what everyone wishes their job was.    We fit in a lot of quality time as a group, including Luke Haynes, our gracious host at Gallery Luke.  I was also lucky to be able to spend some time with a branch of my family, who provided shelter, food, transportation and entertainment in the form of some backyard hens who we chased, caught, and gently stroked.

There were several highlights.  The sushi on Day 1 was within the budget AND delish, a West Coast phenomenon that this Jersey girl still hasn’t gotten used to.  Though it was a disorienting to be in a new space, our day and a half rehearsing brought me intimacy with and understanding of the dance.   On Thursday, our big night, we strayed a few blocks from Gallery Luke to 619, a huge warehouse arts space in downtown Seattle, to spread the word about our performance.  There were various sights to see in 619’s labyrinthine halls, and we darted from studio to studio in an effort to see it all before performance time.

The two runs went off without a hitch, thanks to Matt’s nimble trip to a corner to replenish some lost band-aid props.  Another huge highlight was the tiny girl, about four or five and wearing a fancy party dress, who seemed transfixed.  She smirked at me conspiratorially while I made raspberries at Michelle K’s solo (that’s part of the dance, I swear).  At the end, when the slide and video show that accompanied the dance started again from the beginning, she stood right in front of it, swaying and imitating our movement.  I walked by, and she intercepted me by leaping off the floor into my arms in the best bear hug.   I didn’t catch her name, but she’s my favorite Seattle fan!

As we ease out of rehearsals into performances, I’m ready to embrace whatever further depth and challenges the dance provides, and I’m also looking forward to continuing my relationships with the lovely group of people who call themselves HNDC!

Olivia

Dancer Reflection – Kinny

Working with HNDC for the past couple months has been an experience that gave me, forced me rather, to dig deep. The tasks and relationships structured within the choreography pushed me emotionally. I’m not accustomed to moving from the emotional instead of the physical. In past training I learned to move for the sake of moving from the inside out, but oh yeah, with “lower your eye brows” and “keep a neutral expression.” Now working on the subject of apology and everything else that comes with that such as, love, frustration, trust, dominance, control, desperation, and guilt, I am still moving from the inside out, but with emotion leading the way in every sense. It changes my dancing and it changes how I feel when I move. When my emotions are connected I’m there, present, and I can feel instantly when I loose it. Digging for memories of desire, lose, or pure healthy happiness and bringing my own personal experience into the work has added a layer that is somewhat unfamiliar to me. I am not just choreographically or physically connected, but emotionally involved which brings me much closer to the Apology Project.

Dancer Reflection – OLIVIA

Friday’s filming was momentous! For me, it will be not only my debut web appearance with HNDC, but it was also my first experience dancing for film. I consider myself a relatively seasoned performer, but this was a new kettle of fish. No peeping out the curtains to see if your parents are there, no listening in the crowd for your special someone’s distinctive whistle… Awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the glass eye recording us, and the eyes of the team behind it lest I let slip a smile to be forever on film for the scrutiny of our (probably vast) web audience, I attempted to stifle my body’s involuntary movements, while still pulling off the choreographed ones. And as we’ve all experienced when posing for figure drawing class for $10 an hour in college, it’s hard to control all those little spasms! On stage, a little smile, grimace or pant can just slip by unnoticed, but on film, close up, those tics stick and run the risk of muddying the intended message of the dance. Apologies for minor mishaps abounded as we stumbled through a few runs. The biggest challenge was that I kept moving my torso a little too far to reveal the lighting stand hidden behind it… faux pas! Another lesson on dancing for camera: Unlike on stage, there are details to consider besides just bodies and the occasional boa constrictor. Looking forward to another exciting week of apologies…but nice ones…where no one’s mad. Until next time,

Olivia

Here Now and Apology

Hi everyone. First time blogging….interesting. Mainly I would like to use this forum as a discussion page and to let you know what we are up to. Right now we are in the midst of fundraising. HNDC is going to Seattle to perform at Luke Haynes Gallery and we eed to raise 2,000 more to get there! Go to our donation page of this website if you can help us even a little.  We are rehearsing every Friday and last Friday we made Apology 4 video, thanks to Matt Lewis (our photographer) and Matt Barkin (our film-maker). How great it is to collaborate!