Tour Diary, Take Two


Following an excited announcement introducing my blog this spring, I remained mostly silent – save for a couple of painstakingly and heavily revised reflections – throughout the summer. For this inactivity I can provide a few reasons, stemming mostly from my continued failed attempts to identify, for myself, some stakes: To understand, during a season of particularly violent and devastating news cycles, why I’ve chosen to do what I do despite myriad opportunities to try my hand at something I myself would deem “more worthwhile,” or “more impactful.” And, even worse, why I feel the need to talk about what I do if all I’m going to do is moan about how insignificant it is. Ask me in person.

So instead I read. Jonathan Franzen. Ta-Nehisi Coates. Anthony Doerr. My dear friend and editor Leslie Curtis’s book, which she quietly gifted me years ago when we first discussed her career as a young writer. When I saw Leslie last, I was chatting with her about my plans for graduate school. “You aren’t writing,” she said.

I recovered an old Natalie Goldberg book from my bookshelf, Writing Down the Bones, which instructed me to get over it, get a cheap notebook, and start getting some things on paper. To start with what I know.

Restart, rather. Let’s see if I can indeed just get over it and write, with some candidness and maybe even some humor, about what I’m doing. Still dancing.

Final pre-tour rehearsal with the company at DANY studios in NYC
Final pre-tour rehearsal with the company at DANY studios in NYC

So here I am on the plane to Phoenix, AZ, scribbling ideas in my new two-dollar journal and organizing my neuroses for another round of some of the most challenging repertory I’ve ever danced in my life. I’m on tour with Twyla Tharp Dance for three weeks and a total of nine performances, too many travel days, and one New York (Long Island) appearance. I always like to make lists like this. Not a countdown, necessarily, just a kind of preparatory ritual, like travel day popcorn and airplane tour goals. These goals are now tucked away in my journal. I’ll share them on my way home.

This is no Times blog a la Tharp. More an amateur’s attempt to find a fraction of the daily conviction she brings to the studio each day. A tribute, more than anything, to what she’s taught me so far. If she’s reading this, she’s already tapping her foot and telling me to go ahead and get on with it if I’m going to do it.

Landing shortly in AZ. Laptop off. More later.

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