Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reasons for Moving

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

--Mark Strand

Six weeks paid vacation is a magical thing, people. Enough time to listen to that Lil' Wayne album 67thousand times. Enough days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner across the table from Fred. Enough hot Italian sun and Berlin vibes and green Kassel trees and brushing the cats against their will and taking the rugs to the cleaners and watching Weeds. All 4 seasons. Now it's time to go back to work.

Over the course of the last season, I collaborated on a book about the Tanzensemble with my colleague Brea. She shot candids of all 15 of us in rehearsal; I interviewed each dancer. One excerpt and one photo for each dancer were chosen. We wanted to find - in both the text and the photos - small, internal, personal moments. We wanted to show something behind/before/inside the finished product you see onstage. I asked the dancers about process, about performing, rituals, and risks, and how a role is developed, what falling is like, and about reasons. We've all got them.

These excerpts became the last page of the book.


I'm living dancing. I don't just want to walk. I don't just want to talk. Leyla + I don't dance for anyone, somehow. Dance is something I know I have to do. I'm meant to dance. It's meant to be. Szu-Wei + I do dance for the audience. It doesn't matter how many people there are. But if there are no people at all, nobody, I cannot dance. I need the connection that I'm saying something to somebody.Evangelos + Dancing is a bit like talking without using your voice. Speaking. Speaking without using your voice. Saying many things about yourself without your voice. Kristin + I dance more for myself now. I do it because I enjoy it. I can feel part of something that somebody wanted to say. Cesar Augusto + Dance is the one language where I try to tell you what I say. To communicate with you. You don't like it, you don't take it. You like it, you take it. Pin-Chieh + I'm not dancing because someone else said I look cute when I do it. I think the end result of why I dance has to be me. Brea + When I feel the most clear and honest in my movement, I am dancing because I need to at that moment. Whoever stumbles along, discovers that, engages and relates to it, I am then dancing for them. Julian + Why I dance now has to do with creating real human experiences on a stage for people to have a real experience of. Jason + Art is there for people. I don't mean it has to be simple, or it has to be funny, or it has to be clear. As an artist onstage, I'm doing it for somebody. Ekaterine + I think I dance mostly for myself. If I don't enjoy what I'm doing, why should I then dance? Mats + I have a very complicated relationship with dance. Dance is for me like a person. It's like a commitment we have. It's hate and love. Elisabetta + I hope that through moving and dancing I can connect with myself better, and with people. That's the main wish. To use it as an instrument. Roberto + I feel at the same time like I never chose to dance - I just had to - and I made the choice so many times. I keep choosing it, every day. Lillian + Dancing is das Glaube auch. I think this is schoen so. Benjamin +

Berlin - Seemingly Presumptuous Edition

Hit the rails to Berlin for a few days...

Where we strolled with Jens and Zoe.

Lily's sister Madeline, newly transplanted to the city, joined me for a dip into Tempelhof airport...

And the rake monument to the airlift...

Seemed prescient when BO spent the first chunk of his speech on its history... A lot in the American press about BO seeming presumptuous. Presumptuous? at least somebody's acting presidential around here...

political street party...

We hit the Turkish market, went to the movies (in English), had dinner and drinks with friends, Christian and Uljana showed us the world's greatest flea market, I dipped into Rodchenko and Man Ray exhibits, lily went out with the dancers until dawn...

but mostly we hung out on the balcony doing the nails...

drinking that wine...

we checked out this church...

I got a tip on a great bookstore...

Do visit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We are so completely on vacation.

The other night, Jens and Massimo told us about a lake in the nearby hills...

we set out to find it, asking directions from many villagers, coming up empty, wandering into the woods, where I found a clue along the path...

a mare fed her foal...

eventually, we found it...

not bad.

someone else was swimming there, so we didn't brave the waters...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Residue, Italy

Everything we choose in life for its lightness soon reveals its unbearable weight.
-- Richard Serra

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Italy 3 - Tuscany

After a long night celebrating the wedding in Barletta.....

we drove north

to Tuscany

until we got to the house in the hills.

The whole family was there, thanks to these two:

Well, everyone except Frank.

Tuscany is all about the view. It's tan and green, in varying shades,

and the sun shines all the time except for in the late afternoon when it rains for 15 minutes. This is good for the grapes. So they told us at the wine tasting.

Behind the house, acres of vineyards, olive groves, lavender plants, cyprus trees,

and just across the street, the ruins of a chapel. Roofless, crumbling, home to wild poppies, doves, and a wall fresco covered in bubble wrap .

We ate in the gazebo next to the vineyard,

and made many toasts to John and Maria and their upcoming wedding.

We visited Pienza

and Sienna,

where we arrived two days after the famous yearly bareback horse race between the neighborhoods that takes place in the main plaza.

The tights had been washed and were hanging to dry.

Here's a panorama from the top of the Duomo museum:

Italy 2 - Barletta

Off to the countryside

To meet our friends

It's time for Lisa and Cesar to get married again

This required getting the old farmhouse ready

And getting ourselves ready

Then, off to the church

Back for the reception

And late-night party action