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Provocations

Holding Each Other Up

By Aimee Dawn Robinson
  • Robinson at The Body of Water Project, Whitehorse / Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

Dancers! Take care of your whole self and one another. Hold each other up. Take the time to embrace, nourish and celebrate your artistry. Stand tall and be proud, for dancers express the span of life experience with a single physical turn of phrase. We show how a body revels in life. We help create revelations in minds, bodies and hearts.

Dance, as an embodied art form, remains radical and capable of creating and enabling change. With dance’s radical nature, a dancer’s path can be intense, surprising, sometimes profoundly difficult. During my research project A Body of Memory, I found many of the seventy dancers I interviewed had experienced trauma via harassment and discrimination of all kinds, at all ages and stages of life and/or had experienced lateral violence during their dance training and dance-related experiences. Of course, The Dance Current writers and readers and Canadian dancers are also discussing these issues, in current and historical contexts.

In light of all that is going on in our world, let’s replace lateral violence with lateral compassion. And celebrate and embrace dancers as integral, crucial keepers of history and cultural memory. Especially in these times, when more and more people become distanced from their own bodies and their own sources of power – let’s draw resiliency and joy from the embodied nature of dance.

And let’s turn to the wild world for inspiration and healing. My call to action is this: Dancers! Go to wild spaces and dance there. Connect to the earth and let go of the residue of struggle of the path. Find pleasure in the natural and wild world, and then bring your refreshed body back into your dance, whatever your dance may be. You belong. You are part of the mighty chorus of life.

~

This article was originally published in the May/June 2018 twentieth anniversary issue as part of the anniversary feature “Provocations.”

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