Category: dance

empire state of

The sunlight is seriously my jam. I’m shamelessly taking dance breaks to my Kanye and Jay-Z soundtrack, doing some fall cleaning in more ways than one.

I haven’t slept well for four nights straight. Sometimes I kind of never know when I’m actually awake, but that’s all right, it’s all a dream anyway.

Can I get an encore? What the hell are you waiting for?

Last night I dreamt of someone from a life long past, and he silently took my whole body in his arms like he was protecting me. He did that often when we were together. We were standing on a rooftop, his dark hair covering his eyes, my too-long hair blowing in the wind, and there was no music playing. But we danced slowly. I didn’t have to look, I knew what his eyes looked like from memory. The dance never gave an indication that it would stop. I guess that’s how you know. That’s how you know you’re not actually awake yet. The dance will always stop when you’re awake, but it’s sweet while you find your steps together. Shuffle, shake, shudder. Bow, or kiss, or hug, or make love, and on to the next one. The dream seemed to last forever, and I opened my eyes. It was 4AM.

***

What I meant to say about this photo, is that this was an entrance to the bridge.

My hair tinged a fiery red behind its blackness. This is that rite of passage, you know. I walked this bridge a decade ago with my best girlfriend from 6th grade when were were in New York together. We don’t talk much anymore, but this is the bridge that makes you feel like you really live in New York City.

This weekend, we decided to walk across the bridge towards home. What day was it? I’m not sure. I guess we’re clinging to this city despite it being ephemeral for everyone. I hazily watched the remnants of a couple’s engagement proposal. And the summer dances by, leaving us in the midst of almost-winter as we walk towards dusk. The sun was setting. I was drunk on too-strong mezcal habanero something-or-other. “That’s just so like you,” they always say about my choosing that kind of drink. “I like my alcohol like I like my men,” I used to retort. No one man should have all that power.

What I meant to say about this photo, is that there are always beginnings waiting when you arrive at endings.

IMG_4696

“A thing that is falling apart struggles to hold itself together,” writes Traci. “Water spilling from its copper container, for example.”

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Misty Copeland: “It is possible.”

Last night I had a chance to see Misty Copeland perform. She’s made history as the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history.

My date and I were astounded by her stage presence and athleticism. We live in a present where dialogue about race (see Misty Copeland’s interview on NPR, “On Broadening ‘Beauty’ And Being Black In Ballet“) is as necessary as ever. Last night I spoke to my roommate, who happens to be black, about the relevance of the fact that Misty Copeland isn’t just “pretty good for being short, black, and female.” Her art transcends any of that, and she is an incredible athlete and dancer — period.

Standing at just about 5’0″, I’m quite short (petite, if someone’s attempting to euphemize), I have plenty of curves, and I’m Asian — therefore I’ve been treated with reactions of incredulity if I speak about being a dancer. Misty’s performance was powerful, and artists like her make me believe that we can break the boundaries of the assumptions of “beauty” in this world. That art doesn’t need to have much to do with “perfection” or someone else’s standard of prettiness.

From the video, Misty Copeland on being an artist:

What makes an artist an artist… is feeling like you can relate to them but at the same time they are otherworldly.

My experience has been that it’s not [just] about seeing a pretty line or an insanely arched foot. I think that most of my favorite dancers artists that I truly respect as artists don’t even have all that.

They’ve taken what they have and made it into this incredible thing. and it makes them a dancer overall and not about their body parts, because that’s so easy to come by. You can take a pretty body anywhere and put them in a position.

What makes an artist an artist, a true dancer, is what they make of all of that on stage and bring to the audience.

You can do anything you want. Even if you’re being told negative things. Stay strong and find motivation. I’m 5’2″. I started [dancing ballet] when I was 13. I’m black. There are so many things, but I’ve made it happen. I’m very lucky to be where I am.

It’s possible.

  • Also, if you have not yet watched the powerful Under Armour ad featuring Misty that went viral, here it is: I Will What I Want.
  • See Maria Popova’s multi-part series, A Rap on Race

mezcal reunion & a dose of whimsy

Hello, fall!

Today, a humid daytime filled with a sudden but explicable melancholy, then a lecture from a friend about why I should show my melancholy side more often to people who don’t know me as well.

Then, ceviche with avocado.

Then, first day reunited. We have an on-again-off-again relationship.

I mean, with the mezcal margaritas he made, that is.



I skipped the pictures of us using a big stick to mash chickpeas in a big pot between our legs while sitting barelegged on the ground because the angle made it look… unsuitable for publishing, but it was rather appropriate for my first day back for other things.

I mean, for making hummus, that is. And eating way too much of it.

***

A dose of whimsy, to save you from painful midnight double entendres!

    • Obsessively detailed map of American literature’s most epic road trips(!!)
    • Favorite snacks of favorite writers, illustrated
    • Interactive timeline of why time seems to pass faster as we age
    • “For sometimes you can’t help but crave some ruin in what you love.” ― Chang-Rae Lee
    • Mikio Hasui talks about his photography in an interview with FvF.

      Words, they’re difficult. I’m not a good writer. When I write, I feel like my thoughts get whittled down, smaller and smaller. With a photograph that I think is beautiful, eight out of ten people will also think it’s beautiful. The other two people may think it’s sad, and that’s okay by me. With words, beautiful is beautiful. You don’t read the word ‘beautiful’ as ‘sad’. The reaction people have to my photos can be unexpected, and I like that.

      And:

      When I went to shoot these images, it just happened to be foggy. I was thinking, I can’t shoot today. I couldn’t see anything, so I waited a bit for the fog to clear. When the fog lifted for one moment, I saw the mountain, covered with trees in bright autumnal colors. But I was thinking that if the fog wasn’t there, and it was just a mountain covered in autumnal leaves, the experience and shot would’ve been pretty boring. It was beautiful because it was hidden, and because it was only revealed for that one moment, just that one part of the mountain.

      I felt like it was a metaphor for my life. I’m living in a fog. Even though I’m facing forward, I’m not sure which direction that is. I don’t belong to or work at a company, and I live life day by day. Sometimes I’m like, is this all right? Is this okay? But that’s the kind of thing everyone thinks about. I wonder what’s ahead. Work, marriage, kids – everyone has those questions. But when you’re inside the fog, when everything is foggy, you can’t see (what’s ahead of you). When that fog lifts and you can see even a bit of something, you’ve got to believe in what you just saw, right? When the fog lifts, there’s that mountain covered in trees with beautiful leaves and colors – you can’t see it right now, but it’s there. You’ve got to believe in that.

  • Finally, I leave you with the best birthday party invitation footer (complete with three Fresh Prince dancing GIFs) from an invitation I received today:she don't like to dance tho

Yep. My friends are the best. Happy September!