That’s the Dream…Right?
We have all been there. Sitting in the theater, watching the principal ballerina and hoping one day to be just like her. The grace, beauty, and mysticism she so easily portrays enraptures her audience, pulls them into a dream-like state, a world filled with magical creatures, sylphs, fairies, evil witches and black swans.
Or, at least, I think we have all been there?
I say this, on one hand, because that little girl watching The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide or Romeo and Juliet was never me–I preferred imagining myself hard at work with Pina Bausch in one of my all time favorites Cafe Muller . On the other hand, I question just how many children actually had the opportunity of feeling this way, of knowing just how extraordinary live performance could be.
As a Senior in college attaining my BFA in contemporary dance from one of the best performing arts colleges in the US, it did not take me long to realize that this was a privilege, one inaccessible to so many. Although it bothered me at first, it was more so a push to instigate change, to make sure that the ways in which we promote the arts, here and abroad, did not have to do with money as much as it did about the interaction of individuals, all of whom share one important thing in common: the body.
That is how many of us got here–to this page, or to this organization: a want and need for something more than dancing in a studio or performing at the Kennedy Center. A desire to share dance with those who understand it differently, or don’t know it at all.
Dancing with JUNTOS Collective on four separate abroad trips has given me the ability to do this in ways I never could have imagined. It has changed the way I think of communication, the concept of performance, and more importantly the capabilities and range of my art form. It has encouraged me to expand my notions of dance, of who can do it, who can see it, and how to share it. JUNTOS was only the beginning, an encouragement to develop my own ideas and programs that could grapple with this inaccessibility that is found within the dance world.
As part of my research for the ambassador program, a program that has encouraged many dancers such as myself to further develop management and leadership skills, I have found that we are not alone in wanting to use dance to create change.
In fact, artists from around the world are looking to use dance for more than just the proscenium stage: Wendy Perron’s writings evaluate the different ways in which Israeli and Palestinian artists have tried to collaborate and mediate the ongoing war in the Middle East; Dana Caspersen is interested in the ways in which a career in dance can help her explore conflict mediation; The Mark Morris Dance Group has recently teamed up with the Brooklyn Parkinson’s group to facilitate safe and effective movement classes for those with Parkinson’s disease.
These are the kinds of people who used their skills to connect and explore communities through their love for dance. These are the kinds of people who motivate many, myself included, to help promote the joy of moving.
This blog will serve as a space where JUNTOS ambassadors from the U.S and Central America can share their stories and projects, in hopes of inspiring others in similar ways. Follow us as we explore what it can really mean to be a dancer.
About the blogger:
she works in the dance division office as an arts administrator and interns for Doppelganger Dance Collective, co-directed by Danielle Davidson and Shura Baryshnikov. Ariane’s love of teaching and helping others has led to teaching internships in Boston for both young and old in the community. She has choreographed in the public schools and, notably, given her time to Movement Matters, a movement based project for those affected with Parkinson’s. Ariane’s passion extends to working and traveling with JUNTOS Collective. She is now a JUNTOS Ambassador, representing, organizing, and performing for the collective in Boston and internationally. She is looking forward to being one of the facilitators of the JUNTOS Ambassador blog and sees it as an opportunity to create meaning to an online presence.