Penelope Freeh

The Deep End

Posted by on May 05 2016, in Uncategorized

Helioscope has come and gone, and I await the next incarnation with great hope. There is much to say re: this but I will leave it at that. It was a deep and rich experience, and I am still processing.


Many new things are in the works including being a dancer for my friend Nic Lincoln’s new show, The Hardest Word. This will be an hour-long duet for the two of us, something started at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp two summers ago. We subsequently performed an incarnation at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, but now we are going whole hog. One hour. Just us. Memorial Weekend. Bryant Lake Bowl once again. Yes!


So we are working hard. Next week we are pulling five-hour days together, blessedly in the actual space which is 9×22. Yes, 9×22. Feet. Deep and Wide. In other words, tiny, small, microscopic in terms of traditional dance venues, but then, we are not out for traditional in any way. It pleases me to no end to place our balletically derivative work on that stage, where the audience eats and drinks in candlelight, and where I could spill their beer with my foot if I wanted to.


Today we worked on learning and reassembling new phrases and also a pointe section that we think will be the finale. Everything is hard. Everything is brainy. My brain explodes with almost every rehearsal. I am tired, I am (mostly) in shape and right now, and I am glad to be in the deep end of the pool.


Tomorrow is my last day at the U of MN for the summer. That’s good. I need the break and the distance, though I will miss many aspects: the regular schedule, the great students, the many ways in which I connect with them. There are some real gems.


But when one door closes another opens, or at least a window does. Windows are underrated. My tiny NYC apartment (smaller than the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater dimensions!) had a huge window that led onto the fire escape, my balcony. Bliss.


So what will the window be now? Many things will fill the void I am sure, not the least of which is my now being available to actually take class myself. Oh, I hope I go! It is always such a treat. Yes, Monday I will take with Ben, my pal since I was fifteen.


And so much more is underway: a quick-and-dirty project with the Minneapolis Music Company, another with Consortium Carassimi, and Nice Work if You Can Get It at Lyric Arts. Sweet gigs with live music and a semblance of autonomy. I am reaping what I have sewn, and that is very sweet.


Life continues to scallop, to deepen, to layer. My days are alternately clear and hazy. I certainly am living, going deep, deep enough to hope.