"Do I dare disturb the universe?"
~T.S. Eliot

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I go to Extremes

This week was a rough one of dancing for me.  We only had half a week last week because of our Jerusalem trip, and so this week my mental and physical stamina was lower.  I've been noticing overall that there are many ups and downs in this program.  Sometimes I get out of bed in the morning and am so incredibly excited to dance.  The day is filled with inspiring moments, and I feel alive and so lucky to be here.  Other days are harder to get up; my body is tired, and I feel like the day drags.  In a way though, I feel grateful for these less-than-enthusiastic days, because they are what make the exciting days amazing.

I've been dealing with some recurrence of back pain that began before I left for the program.  A combination of having a really hyper-flexible lumbar spine, slight scoliosis, and straining myself doing too-intense ab exercises, caused pain in my lumbar back, especially at night when lying down.  At home, I had about three physical therapists all giving me wonderful suggestions, and the pain started to go away completely when I did my exercises diligently.  Now that I've come back to dancing really intensely every day (and this choreography entails a LOT of combres/arching/layout-type things), it's been hurting again, both when sleeping and dancing.  I saw the physiotherapist (same as PT, they call it "physio" for short) here on Tuesday and he modified my exercises slightly and showed me how to better activate my transverse abdominis.  He also did massage that felt simultaneously amazing and painful.  Kindof masochistic I guess.  Anyway....I'm going to continue these exercises and hope it gets better soon.  My goal was to NOT get injured here, and it's only Week 4!  But I'm not counting this one because it's just a flare-up of an old injury. :-P

So I think this week my spirits were a little dragging because of not sleeping enough because of my back, and also dealing with a bit of drama with a couple friends at home....not quite coming through and being the friends I wish/thought they were.  I am trying to be very no-drama here, so I'm just focusing on the present and the people here who are supporting me.  I've realized people can read me like a book.  "Is everything okay?" someone asked me the other day.  I didn't even realize anything was showing on my face.  So I'm going to try letting these emotions--the bad and the good--fuel my dancing.

In happier news, I had my first rehearsal for the piece I am choreographing.  I really like the people I've chosen, and they are jiving with my ideas.  Yay!  Making dance and working with people I like really brings up my spirits.  Also, I was starting to feel really overwhelmed with all of the massive amounts of choreography we are learning and are expected to remember (and picking up choreography is not my strength).  I talked to Mika, the artistic director, about feeling a bit behind/overwhelmed.  She gave me an encouraging smile and said she saw the opposite--that I was really standing out.  Hmm...interesting.  This doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm taking it to heart.

Tomorrow, a bunch of us are heading to Tel Aviv!  We are seeing a Batsheva Ensemble show (Deca Dance--SO PSYCHED).  I am also seeing a friend from college, and going to another friend's theatre/performance-art event.  This all is sure to be inspiring, and it will be great to be back in this wonderful, vibrant city again.

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