A Trip Worth Taking

Editorial Note: Each August for the past six years, I’ve asked dance artists at different points in their careers what “making it” means to them. Please join us in looking at what “making it” means as a dancer, artist and human.

BY RACHEL I. BERMAN

lamp photothis is not the piece

this is not a stance

(i can say these things because i am the pretending author)

i still           feel i must protect myself from being read into something too solid

i have fear for the way some people read words

i wonder if my writing this bit infects any kind of reading and interpreting anxiety and here fear for the effect of words

i don’t think these phobias have been named : i’ll call them pleasing problems

| armor |

 

my first published words as dancer read

dancing is my medicine

my mother printed them on a program for a show

they referred to something very practical

the way my sinuses would clear when i started to move

 

the child cataloguing sensations

a chemist (a witch)

 

the dancer absorbs stories

she builds rooms for them

spaces with fully fleshed textures

and smells and likely movements

and sound qualities

and she lives in them part time (we hope)

 

she absorbs and absorbs

rehearses and edits

until she explodes

 

a performance

 

one of the only lines i was given in a school play was

I’m just cursed with sex appeal, that’s been my problem

i remember feeling proud and afraid of it

cellular memory for repeating futures

 

something i learned:

the body is historical artifact

of exquisite and miraculous information

 

the journey to dive in

to circle around the layers

to build and breakdown

architecture in the muscle

in the cells

is a trip worth taking

Rachel Berman

Photo by Stephanie Gould

~~

Rachel I. Berman is a dancer in New York City. She was grown on Maui. She lives in Brooklyn.

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