Wednesday, December 28, 2011

things done recently

Shan and I posted a video of a duet that we're making for two of our brilliant dancers, Josi and Kelvin. We film just about everything that we come up with in rehearsals because our memories are never as good as the camera's. Mostly, we've been using the clips to retrieve forgotten choreography and inflicting them on friends who are kind enough to give feedback on half-formed ideas, but we're so giddy with excitement for this project and our dancers that we couldn't resist putting up something to share.

I reviewed a wonderful new(ish) YA novel, The Freedom Maze, for Fantasy Matters here...

And interviewed the author, Delia Sherman, here.

I put on my opinionated bookstore girl hat and contributed a "best of year" list for the Kepler's blog. I have a terrible memory for time when it comes to reading. Books blur together and go from unread to read, and the distinction of when, exactly, I've read something is only a rare landmark on the experience. This kind of list is always haphazard for me, though I cheerfully limited myself to books that came out this year (except for Holly Black's White Cat) to make the job (slightly) more manageable.

We performed Liss Fain's "The False and True Are One" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in November. They filmed one of the performances and have put up a brief edit of different clips. The camera people were literally in our faces for this--they darted around the space and would periodically shock you by appearing right at the edge of the dance floor when you turned around--so the footage actually gives an excellent approximation of the way the piece looks as an installation.

Liss Fain - "The False and the True are One" from Liss Fain Dance on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I thought it was nothing serious because we only met through the distance of several friends and he was, in any case, late. I waited for him at a table in the restaurant, watching other people order and get and eat their meals. After that, I waited on what the restaurant insisted on calling "the terrace," where I could see people turning on the headlights of their cars and driving away into the night. It was the end of summer, and everything was warm. Even the metal chair that was slowly printing itself on the backs of my legs was warm.

It was too warm to move, too warm to leave, and I didn't feel like calling him, so I just sat. The chair was made for leaning forward in conversation and not for sitting, and the thought floated into my head, far away in the warm haze, that it might be uncomfortable enough to leave a bruise.

My phone rang. I thought about leaving it on the table. Lateness was an indication of something, a clue to consider, but I was too warm to care.
This was in the first two pages of the notebook that I just dug out from under my bed to sacrifice to the dull duty of to do lists. The fragment stands alone. There are no notes to connect or extend it. It's the very first thing I wrote when I started thinking about a story that was going to be about the twelve dancing princesses.

And then I became obsessed with the idea of summer, and my own physical reactions to alcohol, and dancing as a mode of transportation, and the difference between getting lost and losing oneself on purpose, and the story in my head--the one that hadn't been written yet, but was gathering shape and heft and would soon be so solid that I would be less and less able to see it as anything else--changed. And now it's weird to read this artifact from the other story, the one I decided not to write.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Movie: "untitled" by Heather McCalden

My friend, Heather McCalden, has made a small dance film. She is one of the most ravishing people I know, and you should watch it. The dancing and concept are by Heather. The camera work is by Sonia Reiter.