Block 168: August 11, 2013

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Date: August 11, 2013

Crane: 168

Days Spent on Project: 175

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Professor Craig-Quijada.

My junior year at Kenyon, Professor Craig-Quijada was brought in to fill an empty Dance Professor position. (My sophomore year, a dance teacher had taken the job after Reischman’s departure; she made it two years… and that’s all I will say.) I don’t know if it was typical of the Kenyon Dance department but, during my time there, there was a constant turnover in professors. I’m not sure matches with the Kenyon community were easy to come by…

Professor Craig-Quijada had previously taught at Kenyon before my first year. Her return was met with elation and exciting and cheers.

Professor Craig-Quijada made dance fun. She had great technique, and a strong point-of-view when teaching and choreographing, but she always kept the mood light. Yet, she still knew which students to push harder and when to ask for more and then how.

By that time, I had found the courage to enroll in more sections of dance. I took a ballet too! I also had realized I was more than ready (after two years) to join the intermediate level classes.

While I was at Kenyon, I prided myself on being one of the (very) few guys who would take classes. During my time there, I was cast in three of the department dance concerts, which I was always proud of… I understood that I didn’t yet have the skill or technique of several of my classmates, but I enjoyed it and I had fun.

And I’d like to dedicate this Crane to Professor Craig-Quijada for sharing that sense of enjoyment and for coming back to Kenyon to lead the small department. Even all these years later (13?), she’s still there. She’s still leading.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’m listening to Lady Gaga this morning. I haven’t done that in a while, and I’m remembering how much I loved her for a spell…

She has a new album coming out in 8 days. I’m getting more than a little excited about it.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Here’s a quote for you, ladies and gentlemen…

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pretty great, huh?

I guess it’s starting to become important for me to understand that everyone around me has a commonality with me. It’s easy to lose that in New York City. No matter how different we all look and act and live, there are things that bring us together.

When I found that quote yesterday, I wondered if it could apply to theater; I haven’t made up my mind yet. I would have said in the past: Yes, of course… Theater is all about bringing people together and showing us parts of ourselves and stories that other people experience. By watching people work through events that might happen, doesn’t theater have the power to make us reflect on the human experience? Bringing people together. To watch a live event. Engaging an audience. Asking questions. Getting people to think.

Doesn’t all art have the potential to show us that someone else has thought a similar thought or felt a similar emotion or lived a similar life as we have? Isn’t there a power in art?

Isn’t that the point of art?

To feel? To understand? To learn?

Hm.

We’re not so different, ladies and gentlemen. We all want similar things. I’m pretty sure we all worry about similar things.

Off to walk the dog.

Cheers.

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