Exploring an Empty Dance Studio

Happy National Poetry Month from Stance on Dance!

BY GWYN HENRY; ILLUSTRATION BY CAMILLE TAFT

I embrace the corner

this juncture of walls

a meeting place

for spine and sheet rock.

 

Demarcation. A map, a sign: this way

will hold you true.

 

As I go along the wall

grappling like a blind woman

eschewing sight, eyes closed

I arrive at an opening

square and wide

a roar of solar

spilling through.

 

My hands pass

into this light

and it falls warming

from skin to bone.

 

Wanting more

I thrust my head

through the opening

and upper half too

so I hang by waist

belly on window sill

half in half out.

 

I lay a palm against

the outside wall and find

its bulk, its strength, its willingness

to support: mortar and frame

nails and insulation.

 

Corners and Spine. Junction, Roof, Shelter. All of this

give me gifts

 

because I was once

a woman who closed her eyes

and unfurled her body from the window sill

of a dance studio weightless

willing and full of wonder.

Gwyn Henry - Exploring Empty Dance Studio - FOR SOD

Gwyn Henry is the woman behind Movement Artists Ensemble (MAE), a group of women in Escondido, CA who are moving into their middle years and beyond and who come together to improvise, take video footage, and weave the footage into dance poetry on film. She also practices authentic movement, which was the inspiration for this poem.

Camille Taft is an 18-year-old dancer living in Longmont, CO, who has trained throughout her life in primarily ballet and modern dance. With both her parents as visual artists, she has always appreciated the excitement that comes from a collaboration of mixed media, and was thus overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with Stance on Dance.

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