I feel like I’m ready to take on life today.
Date: August 10, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 174
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Professor Reischman.
After a hall-mate, Eli McC, got me to audition for a student dance concert during my first semester at Kenyon, I was hooked. Or at the very least intrigued.
By dance. Modern dance.
The second semester, I enrolled in Beginning Modern, with Prof. Reischman, who Eli reassured me would offer a good introduction to dance, without being too scary.
Reischman was electric, upbeat, friendly, demanding, superhuman, flexible, and always moving. The ways she incorporated movement, borrowing from yoga and pilates (who knew what pilates was back then?) and pedestrian behavior… it was exciting. As someone who was then on an acting career path, learning about the world of expression through movement and the technique required to do that, it was educational. Mind-opening.
At the end of that academic year, Reischman’s time at Kenyon was over. She would move on to another school to teach full-time; Kenyon only had one full-time dance professor, who had been there to start the program, and she wasn’t going anywhere. Reischman would be missed. A bunch of the students threw her a party. I was asked to make a card, with some dancing figures on it… as people knew I could draw.
At the end of that academic year, Reischman also performed one of her solo pieces in the Spring Dance Concert. It’s one of the few performances I remember clearly. She danced in a simple, white cotton nightgown. Her only onstage partner was an old wooden table.
Partnering with a wooden table seems random, but it worked. The two of them managed to dance together, Reischman finding ways to have it move her. Lying on her back, underneath the table, for one second; the next moment, lifting a leg, and using the back of her heel, hooking the table’s edge, and lifting herself to standing… on top of the table.
It was kinda magical. And superhuman.
She still teaches. I think she’s had quite the career, and has been recognized for her work.
I loved it all. I still do. If I could re-live my life over, I would have sought out ways to continue dancing, and entertaining the fantasy that it was something I could do.
I asked someone in the cereal “wing” of the store, and was directed to go to the other side, for a different category of cereal. On the way there, I was distracted by a log cabin full of different varieties of maple syrups. I needed that too, but was embarrassed to admit to the crowd of store employees charged with over-seeing the maple syrups, that I had no idea which syrup was right for me. I didn’t take it.
I passed my friends, who were likewise busy accumulating things from their lists, even allowing themselves to pick up “splurges,” little things that caught their eyes as they passed.