Friday, April 02, 2010

Reflections 4.2010

It's Spring! It's warm(er). Daylight lasts longer. People's pants get shorter. Time for play on the beach, runs along the bay, or mountain hikes.

Time to get out and enjoy wide open space. Time to breathe. Time to appreciate the simple and beautiful.

So easy to write, so challenging to do as much as I'd like. Although I've never fancied myself the full-on "outdoors type," I'm thankful for the inherent ease that comes with Spring and fully embrace the gorgeous environment I now call home.

When I lived in Washington D.C., my favorite season was Spring. Amidst the concrete and chaos was the sweet fragrance of renewal. At that time, I was a full-time fundraiser for The Washington Ballet and part-time graduate student in arts management at American University. Life was exciting, full of possibility, and very busy (like my current life). Although I had retired my pointe shoes several years earlier, I still danced occasionally to stay active within the world that I called home for so many years. It's how I got out; enjoyed wide, open space; breathed.

Dance was my continual Spring. It put a little San Diego in my day before I even experienced San Diego. It's what brought me back to the simple and beautiful.

From "Esplanade" by Paul Taylor

All Photography: Paul B. Goode

I credit my years of dance and performance for directing my path towards the launch and growing of Red Letter Days Events with Mia. Essentially, Red Letter Days is now my continual Spring. One choreographer, however, played a vital role in teaching me the example of celebrating the beauty of simplicity, the importance of wide open space, and the value of breathing, to always keep Spring present in whatever I approach -- Paul Taylor.

Paul Taylor is a genius of movement (no, I never danced in his company...I've just been mildly obsessed with his work). His choreography celebrates the miracle of pedestrian motion and his thematic work tells a complete story without too much fluff. His signature piece, Esplanade, is my favorite piece of choreography ever. Set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, its power mesmerizes the audience not by flash and bang, but its homage to simple gestures and glances, and full use of wide open space.

My years of dance and studying Paul Taylor's work has taught me to approach everything as a blank canvas, making sure that the foundation of the project is solid and clear, making sure that we start from Spring and grow from there. And, oh yeah...breathe.
In San Diego, we're so fortunate to have awe-inspiring space in which to choreograph events that celebrate the beauty and simplicity of life. Celebrating love, life, milestones -- none are simple achievements, but they each are simple to appreciate. The glance that a groom gives his bride during their ceremony because he is enraptured by her natural beauty; a delicious meal created from recipes passed down from generation to generation; a hike and celebratory picnic arranged in honor of a friend who received a clean bill of health...

All of these are Spring. All of these are a dance of sorts. And at this moment of Spring 2010, I reflect on the esplanade that I've traversed to arrive where I am. Looking back, every accomplishment, every event that was most successful for me occurred from keeping things simple, keeping Spring forever present.
Thanks, Mr. Taylor. I'll make sure to get out and run through the Flower Fields down the street from my home and then go jump in the ocean.

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