“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
As fresh snow blankets the northeast, wrapping the land in a peaceful winter muffler, all around us too, the silent chaos of the pandemic reigns. The contrast of these two things, side by side, could not be more stark. The sparkling, reflective beauty of the first snow that brings with it the excitement of children and grown ups alike, and beside it, the pain, the fear, the continuing isolation of this global crisis as lives are lost and families kept from each other. Whatever the folly of humankind, life indeed does go on.
Jmy James Kidd lives and works in California. She spoke to us in late October as the pandemic continued on. At the time she was working with her long time dance collaborator, Perin Hailey McNelis, on a piece called Believers. Although the duo has made many dances together in the past, working in close physical proximity in this way felt familiar and yet unusual at this time. The pair have no performances lined up and do not know whether they ever will, but Kidd remarked that the dance not only feels like the right thing to do for her body it also helps maintain her mental health during this difficult time. Until recently, Kidd ran a dance studio in Los Angeles. When the pandemic hit, she and her wife decided to move to the high desert where she build and began working in a much smaller studio space. To hear how she has adapted to this and more about her collaborative work including some words from her collaborator, as well as what made Kidd leave her previous work as a dancer in New York, listen to the complete interview.
Alissa Juvan spoke to us from Vermont in early December. In addition to the global pandemic, Juvan had a baby a year ago. Both of these things changed everything about her world and she describes the last year as a period of incubation in a sense. Before having her baby, she was teaching sensual movement workshops in combination with her coaching work. Sensual movement is a floor based technique that is based on her work as a pole dancing instructor. Juvan teaches movements that can be called into action when the music brings them out. In her workshops, there is a strong emphasis on feeling safe and playful so that participants’ bodies can freely express. To hear more about Juvan’s work, as well as an in-depth discussion about the inherent shame that many people feel around their own sensuality and sexuality, listen to the complete interview.
Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
No matter what, the seasons change around us, animals go about their daily routines uninterrupted, the world spins on.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Alissa Juvan has been reading The Hate U Give by by Angie Thomas. Praxis user Catherine lists Heaven’s Breath: A Natural History of the Wind by Lyall Watson as a book to read.
The Onassis Foundation offers “tailor-made, time-sensitive support for artists and curators living in Greece or anywhere in the world.” Stipends of up to 3,000 € plus support from the AIR team are designed to prepare Onassis fellows for whatever artistic endeavor they are about to embark on. Visit the website for more details and to apply. Applications for this emergency fellowship re-open in January 2021.