During the winter of 2011, I began talking to dancers about Dear Pina, gathering a list of names. It had been ten years since I was active in the community and there were many on that list who I did not know—which nudged me in the “audition” direction. I asked each dancer to write to me something about themselves, their relation to the art form, their experience with collaboration, so that I could feel I knew a bit about them before the audition.
JILL GEORGE, September 25
Now, this evening, after the audition, I feel more like an excited little kid. I am in awe of the magnificent space, and am thrilled by the idea of dancing in it. I am in awe of the score. And I’m in awe of and seriously moved by what you’re creating with the piece–I love it!–and I’m very excited about the possibility of being part of it. I had no idea….and now I do. Suddenly–at least tonight–my relationship to the piece no longer feels like it’s about me. Perhaps that small-s self has already melted away.
ANNETTE URBSCHAT, August 28
I think you know why I want to be in this dance: I owe a lot to Pina, and to you for that matter. This is my attempt at repaying some of that debt.
My special talents are: chewing and swallowing while standing on my head; talking in my sleep in English, German and Doubletalk; crying at the slightest provocation
AVI WARING, August 20
In the last few years, I have come to a place where dance and movement are consciously sacred in my life. I am happiest in life when I am a part of a great idea coming to fruition. I love the idea of working with so many other dancers to fill the Breeding Barn with movement. I have only seen the excerpts that you sent us of Pina Bausch’s company, but I absolutely loved the choreography and the individuality of the performers, I loved the humor and the intensity…
JOHN BENNETT, August 19
My history with dance has been unfocused but bursting with moments of intensity. When I don’t have an outlet to be creative in movement my life is severely lacking and I am not happy.
ERIKA LAWLER-SCHMIDT, August 15
I come from a family of dance/ theater people and musicians. I am life long dancer with classical ballet and jazz training that I received in Chicago. I worked with Gus Giordano Co. I play the cello. I am a visual artist and have been making inter-disciplinary performance work since 1995. I have a deep respect for Pina Bausch as a choreographer. When I saw her work I felt an immediate connection and felt her as a kindred spirit. Therefore, to dance in a piece in her memory is a most fantastic opportunity.
ELLEN TEMPLE, August 15
I want to do the piece for a couple of reasons: I love working with you and you asked me; I also love the process of making pieces; and I’m still intrigued with performing.
KAYLA WEST, August 11
I continue to explore other realms of dance throughout my adult education. This form by a choreographer that I am not familiar with, along with a topic that is just as unfamiliar, is something that could take me out of my comfort zone and push me as a performer. I haven’t been able to capitalize on an opportunity to dance in other places except the traditional stage or studio space. The challenge of the setting itself is intriguing.
MARLEY SPIESER-SCHNEIDER, August 10
I am a strong believer in the intelligence of the body and strive constantly to open myself further to that kinesthetic knowledge. I feel challenged and in my element when I am faced with a new piece of choreography, new demands on me as an artist, movement that feels foreign to me. This is not always a comfortable place per se but nothing is more rewarding for me than working through new physical and artistic obstacles.
WILLOW WONDER, August 9
The creative process is what keeps me alive. I am excited about being a part of a VT born dance project of this size. The idea of dancing with the larger dance community is inspiring to me. Also, the barn sounds amazing, and very interesting as far as a performance venue.
EMER FEENEY, August 8
I am serious, sensitive. I care, I try hard, sometimes experience frustration. I like to laugh, make others laugh. I get better from practice. It takes a little while for movement to get into my body, but then I can usually find a way to dance it. I am good at working with others in a creative setting. I appreciate good direction and vision, though, even in an atmosphere of collaboration.
CANDACE FUGAZY, August 7
Working on larger projects is much more personal and a true work of love.
JILL GEORGE, August 5
I’m finding I can do work that moves people: me, and, lo and behold, others, too. I want to discover things about myself, and what I can do. I want to see what this piece will do to me….and what I will do to the piece. How I will be part of the voice, the presence, the movement, the get-inside-you-to-alter-you force that is the piece. Working on larger projects is much more personal and a true work of love.