it is becoming ever clearer to me that the universe does not make mistakes. she is kind, full, intentional, and available. she is all that we are.
in college as a young dancer i found myself grateful for every moment in a rehearsal or class. for the rediscovery that dancing felt like water or walking. like the expansion of air. something that is. i also hadn’t acknowledged that in a dance program as a young person of color who hadn’t extensively trained in western traditions, i felt isolated, unapproved, and that my dance – while maybe a calling, and something i was “good” at – would be limited to a hobby. i had internalized that although i was seriously studying forms from around the world, and developing serious proficiency, “serious” dance looked a certain way, located in a certain place. and i had little interest in looking that kind of “serious”. i was at a crossroads.
and then i saw Arthur Aviles dance.
“dance can look like that?”
eyes wide opened, i understood that dance could speak. not merely through the voice of the mover, the body itself could communicate stories uniquely plentiful, emotional, visceral. it was a moment that i understood that “serious” dance resides in the body of the mover. and i was ready to be that kind of “serious”.
years later, now a South Bronx resident, with a creative career of dedicated inquiry and art making, i’ve been offered a residency at a historic performance organization, founded by none other than Arthur Aviles and Charles Rice-Gonzalez. and my artistic advisor on the project……Aviles himself.
i am grateful to him that he showed up in the power of his gift and offering such that others could be blessed to discover theirs. and for his dedication to a continued career of making and communicating from that place. seriously.