Penelope Freeh

The View From Down Here

Posted by on Jan 21 2016, in Uncategorized

My time here in Abu Dhabi is winding down, and my heart breaks a little more with each continuing sleepless night. I’m fighting a cold, no surprise given that I’ve been running on fumes.


We have two more work days left plus today off in Dubai. Some of us are going up the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. So excited to see that view. Apparently you can see the world rounding from up there.


And from down here, I feel it rounding too. I am off-center, tipped, tipsy. Working in this way, with these methodologies, inspires me to carry them home along with the empowerment that I feel creatively and as a dancer. It’s been such a long time since I’ve hooked into my dancing in this way. The balance that I feel in this project is one that I’ve missed, a sense of community and investment, and yet I am ultimately not the one in charge. Though it is not my baby it is very much in my heart, and I will move mountains to be a part of its future.


For now the only thing to do is dive deeper into the work and my relationships with these people. Each is filled with a light that blinds me at times. The talent and generosity in the room overwhelms me with gratitude and a sad-happiness knowing that we will be moving apart soon. We are from: St. Paul, New York City, Hilton Head, Boise, Albuquerque and Austin.


My calendar fills up with meetings and rehearsals. Funny that I haven’t touched that thing much since I’ve been here. A little too bad because I would have liked to see what I did each night. On the other hand it’s been a liberating time. My touchstones have been my laptop and the notebook I’ve dedicated exclusively to this project. What will I do without them: the project, the notebook?


In truth some exciting things await me, most with live or original music that has become such a linchpin of inspiration. I must re-immerse upon my return, but for now I will attempt to saver these last days and these people. Like elastic I expand more into personhood. I am still becoming.