Day 80

Sunday 10/04/2011
It’s Mary Ellen’s Birthday today, I get up at 9 and go to get her a cake in the bakery. I feel so exhausted, I should have slept well after the acupuncture, but didn’t, I felt a bit wired after the show.
I met her and her parents at central park and we walk around, visiting the Turtle Pond and other nice locations in the Park. It was a lovely afternoon.

Then I had to leave them and go to help the Cast break down the set from last night’s performance. I was about an hour late, because I got lost in the park and by the time I arrived, it was all done. Poop!!!!
We then headed over to one of the women’s houses to have some lovely Haitian food. It was such a nice party and at the end we finished with a sharing circle, to end our time together. It was very sad but happy too. We had been successful. I really loved listening to all these powerful ladies speak. They inspire me! I am so happy to have experienced this roller-coaster ride of emotions. It has forced me to look at myself and grow. I have learned a lot and am ready for the next chapter in my journey!

Day 79

Saturday 9/04/2011
Today I went to Acupuncture in the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. My injury had improved so much after the healing I had on Wednesday but I still decided I needed more help with it. I had three students treat me and was not happy with it at all. One woman hurt me very much, she didn’t place the needles properly and now I am very bruised. I was very disappointed because they didn’t listen to me, I asked to be given some treatment for my knee but they did not want me telling them what to do. It was uncomfortable and I didn’t feel safe or secure.
I had a lot of pain in my wrist after the treatment, it was a very strong point and it had ben done badly.

I was very tired, and I think the whole Vagina Warrior Group felt a lower energy. Tonight would be our last show, and I was starting to worry it would be a bad one. I had no friends coming tonight, but still felt I needed to do a good job.

It went well but it was a bit rocky at times, some of the women forgot their queues, and there were some awkward silences but as it progressed it started to pick up. I didn’t feel I read better than the night before but some of the women said it was better. It’s hard to say, when your in it.

It was a nice performance and we were all exhausted. I was glad it was over but also sad it was over!

Day 78

Friday 8/04/2011
This morning I went in early to the office so that I would have enough time to help out in the Vagina Fair at 2 pm. I finished the performance journal archive, which was such a relief. I am glad I could finish it before I went home.

I went to help out at the vagina fair, setting up the little stalls for auction and raffles and setting up areas to sell food. It was a nice feeling, to be helping out to raise money for such a great cause. My eyes have really been opened during these last few weeks. I was not aware of what was going on in the world. I feel blessed to have met all these wonderful women, and feel honored that they have shared their inspiring stories with me.

We all gathered together before the show in one of the little back rooms in the Church……and Eve Ensler appeared with an award for one of our cast members, Dell Williams. I got to say hi to Eve personally, and was so surprised by her amazing gratitude. I had not expected her to come to tears when she saw the amount of people in our cast. She was so thankful and humble and really a beautiful person. I am so thankful I got to meet her and be part of her production to help spread the word.

The performance went so well, I had three friends come to see me, and I was so thankful for that. I really appreciated them coming to support me and this cause. They were so impressed and said they really enjoyed it. I felt really great. It was a fun-filled and tear-filled evening. It was wonderful!

Day 77

Thursday 7/4/2011
Today I went to watch Mary Ellen’s End of year School performance at Hunter College. I got in free, which was amazing. I got to see 2 of Alwin Nikolais’s works performed live, which I was so delighted about. It was so interesting to see how innovative he was for his time. With lighting, costume and set design. I especially loved the piece Tensile Involvement. I saw it in rehearsal, but wow it was such a transformation with the lighting and costume. Very impressive. I enjoyed the overall performance, and it was nice to see a a wide range of movement on stage. But I really was happy I got to see the Alwin Nikolais pieces performed.

After I had my dress rehearsals for the Vagina Monologues. They went better today, people started to feel more comfortable and confident. The timing got better and the transitions smoother. I started to feel excited about performing. This is the first time I have felt like that for the whole entire process. I had been so scared t use my voice. It had blocked me from enjoying the process.

Day 76

Wednesday 6/04/2011
Today I went to work as a class register with Mary Ellen. I usually do it on Monday but was not well enough, so I am catching up on lost hours.
I took Stacey Spence’s class. This is was the class I injured myself in three weeks ago. It is the first dance class I have done since. It was really hard for me and was very upsetting. I had to sit out for most of the class. I could only do the floor work section in the warm up. It got me down a bit.
I did the Alexander class right after, I had to force myself to do it, knowing I will be happy afterwards. There was a lovely new teacher doing class today. She had some very interesting things to say. She was interested in the Linear opposing directions in the spine (between the head and tail), I have heard many people speak about it in classes before but how she approached it, was a lot more clear for me. She also used the word Yield…….this is a word Mary Nunan, the Director of my Masters program, always used in class and I always struggled with its definition. But this teacher today, had a wonderful way to describe it………”Yielding is building an energized relationship with the floor”. She worked a lot with the Yield, Push, Reach and Pull theory. I really enjoyed the class. I look forward to hearing her next weeks class.

After class I went home and got some food before leaving for my tech rehearsals for the Vagina Monologues. We met at 5pm and I was in a lot of pain. One of the cast members introduced me to her friend who was an energy healer. I am not officially sure what she to call her, but it was amazing. She took me aside and asked me to close my eyes and lie down. I lay there, exhausted and completely open for whatever came. I could feel the pain worsen in my thigh and adductor muscle. It got very bad and then released. It was incredible. I could still feel the slight pull and tension in the area but it had released so much. I was so amazed. I was so lucky to have come across her at my moment of need. She really helped me!

We then had a very long rehearsal, where I read my new part. “Memory 9 Years Old”, from the “Coochi Snoorcher Monologue”. I was so terrified to read but tried not to think of me reading it, I tried to think of the woman I was reading it for, the woman who wrote it. It helped me a lot to think like this. I read it well and read my “Six year Old Girl” Monologue well too. I was relieved.

Day 75

Tuesday 5/04/2011
We woke up late, I again had a bad night sleep so was exhausted. I went to the office to work on the Gala Donations with Rebecca but ended up working on the Performance Journal again. I was happy to, because I felt I was coming to the end of them and felt happy I would be able to finish it before I leave.
I will be leaving in 14 days time. I am to be honest, kind of looking forward to leaving. In one way I need a rest for my body and I do find the city really takes a lot out of me but on the other hand, I will miss the people I have met here and miss the opportunities and amazing classes and workshops here. I have gained a lot by coming here and would not change it, I only wish I would have paced myself better so as not to get injured.

I had intended to take class today, either a dance class or a yoga class but again my body just didn’t feel up for it.

I went to view the Eiko and Koma “Naked” Installation in the Baryshnikov Arts Center this evening. I had seen a version of this installation on youtube so to see it live with my own eyes was really amazing. I was blown away by the the scene visually and by the concentration they both held throughout. They were so controlled and sustained in the painfully slow movement. I can only imagine how much strength they have in their bodies to be able to perform it for 4 hours at a time.
I felt it was such an interesting set too. There were feathers everywhere and there were little holes made in the material walls that you could look through and experience the installation from another perspective. It was like you were looking into a nest of naked birds. It was incredible. I much preferred watching from this angle, to the full frontal angle, where the audience mainly gathered.
The sound in the background was really effective. While in the Eiko and Koma workshop, they told us that they would hang a frozen bottle of water from the roof and allow the melting ice, (dripping water) to create the sound scape to the installation. It was really beautiful and I felt it caused a sense of tension and suspense, because at some points, a lot of water would fall, creating a lot of noise while others it was almost unrecognizable. It is something I may consider in my own work in the future.

I really enjoyed it! I look forward to the Eiko and Koma performance in the Dublin Dance Festival.

Week 11: Day 74

Monday 4/04/2011
I had a lot of pain today in my thigh muscles and adductor so I decided to skip class. I didn’t sleep well from the pain so thought I should be kind to myself. I Had a chance to catch up on emails and my Blog which I was pleased about.
I met Mary Ellen in the afternoon and we went to lunch in ChinaTown but had a very uncomfortable experience. We were hassled about tipping, after not being treated well by the staff. They were so rude and deliberately avoided us when we were wanting to order. It was very bad service and we felt really attacked. But they didn’t get their tips after all!!!! So there!!!!

Afterwards we went for a walk and decided to visit Central Park. We were going to try go to the Zoo but it turned out to be very expensive so we just had a walk, the weather was beautiful!

I went to Judson in the evening but was a bit disappointed by the performances. I felt my mind wandering in every piece. They didn’t manage to hold my attention. I was glad when it was over. It was not one of the strongest nights at the Judson.

After I went to stay in Mary Ellen’s place. I got a crepe so I was happy and had a nice evening!

Day 73

Sunday 3/04/2011
Today I went to see Fall and Recover, by Irish Modern Dance Theatre. Megan also came and we were given half price tickets from John. It was really lovely to see the piece. I had been in the process of rehearsals with the group 2 years ago and had never got to see it performed. It really was well done. The dancers were so beautiful and were great performers. It really touched me. After the piece, there was a question and answers opportunity. It was so lovely to hear some of the dancers speak of there experience with the company and with the piece. It added so much to the performance. I really enjoyed it!

After I went for some food with Megan, it was nice to get the time to sit and talk with her, we are usually rushing away from each other.

I then went to Brooklyn to get another massage from Rebecca. It went well, my hamstring feels a lot better but still doesn’t feel like normal. She worked a lot on my back and hips tonight. The thinks I may have a few different issues, with the quadriceps and t-band. Not to mention the adductors. I felt a bit overwhelmed by the information but she assured me it is good to know where I hold my tensions and not to see it necessarily as a bad thing. I will try do a little bit of class this week and try start back in yoga but may use some props so that I am not using the full flexibility.

Day 72

Saturday 2/04/2011
I didn’t get much sleep on the train this morning. The train got very full so we had not much space. We arrived back in Manhattan around 12.30pm and we were sooooooo exhausted. Hardly able to find our way home. We went the wrong direction on the subway, that’s how tired we were.
I also got on the wrong train and ended up pretty far away from my place so had a lot of walking to do.
Got home about 2.30pm and showered and had some food and went back out to go meet Athena for rehearsals at TradeSchool. I helped her with the cooking for the dinner in the evening. We didn’t have much time to rehearse but it turned out to be fine because my part had been altered because of my injury. I was able to not participate in the parts that were more heavy on the hamstring. I was really relieved, I was worried about it.
The performance went well but was very different from the last time. We got a great response.
We were given gifts from the audience as barters for the performance. I was given some interesting clothing. Some of it was not my thing but I appreciated it all the same. But some of the stuff was really cool, I was so surprised. I will definitely wear it. Especially the stuff that Athena herself had given me as her barter. It was beautiful

After I went for some food with Briana after. And went straight home to bed.

Day 71

Friday 1/04/2011
Today we got up early, Mary Ellen wanted to interview her Anthropology teacher for her film project. I felt really lucky to have been a part of this process because I felt it so interesting to listen to his views on dance and how it is in society. He is a very wise man, with so much to say. We spoke for over an hour, I filmed it all and will hopefully get to listen back on it, it was so loaded with amazing perspectives and opinions, I was very thankful to have met him.

We then went to a mexican restaurant in the city for lunch and I had my first Beef Enchiladas and we had Martini’s. After we went on another tour of Midtown which was really nice. I felt I got a real sense of the city. We came home and had chinese food with her parents and she cut my hair for me. It was a lovely evening with her parents, we had some really nice discussions. I felt like home!

After we went out to a club called Vertex, to meet up with some of her friends. It was really nice to meet, some real American people, in their home town. They seemed different to the people I have met so far. We got free drinks, because she knew the bartender so we had a lovely and low costing night.
We decided to stay awake the whole night because we would have to catch our train back at 5.30am.

We said our goodbyes to her parents and were on our way home. I had a really wonderful time, so happy to have been invited to experience the everyday life of the American people. It was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. I am a happy girl!