For the last 4 years of my life I have been a part of a unique dance company based in Sydney called The Dream Dance Company, founded and directed by my good friend, the one and only, Marko Panzic. Each year the standard and expectation of what would be produced would be benched higher and higher & (with knowledge that I may be a little biased) I believe each season that was produced, it was most certainly delivered. Last year the incredible Sarah Boulter along with Marko created “Enter The Vortex”. An athletic and physically daring, heart stopping, jaw dropping – can’t catch your breath kind of show that toured Australia & New Zealand and was received with thunderous applause by all.
So when it came to envisioning the next season I believe the most recurrent un-spoken question was “…how the hell do you top that?”
Late last year, Marko approached me and shared his idea for his next season, and I was immediately intrigued. A show based on the 12 soloist dancers, each being given time and space to reveal their most intimate thoughts in an intimate space with a smaller audience. No choreographer. No forced story. No forced character. Just their own genuine, authentic expression of self. A chance to have a voice.
Since when do dancers get to have a voice?!
The seed he planted in my head, this chance to share who we are! It began to grow and grow to the point where I realised I was insatiably hungry for the experience.
I can’t speak on behalf of Marko as to why he chose who he did, but I can honestly say that I have never been surrounded by a more perfect cast to share this experience with and I believe that everyone who watched the show would agree that the inventive combination of these 12 artists was a recipe that tantalised the depths and taste of each and every audience member.
I’ve written this blog for a couple of reasons.
The first would be to write my thanks and gratitude on a social media platform that allows me to write more than 150 characters.
Thank you to the audience members. Every single person who came and watched us share our truth. Thank you for your support. I cannot explain how deeply thankful each and everyone of us are that you received us with open arms! Your words after the show meant so much, your messages, your posts. All of it. Without your tickets, we could not perform. So thank you.
Thank you to my cast. You inspired me every single day from studio to stage. Through you I was able to learn more about myself. You allowed me to find a sense of purpose, ease, and a realising that what we were doing was more than just dance, it was healing. And for that, I can never thank you enough.
Lastly, thank you Marko, for all you do for me, for my peers, for this industry. This experience in particular was something truly remarkable, distinctive and courageous on your behalf. For the first time in my life I wasn’t boxed as the daring, seductive, femme fatale who destroys and toys with all the men in the show! Mind you, I still love to play that character! An alter ego who I only ever get to experience on stage!! But it felt really refreshing to be able to share the truth of who I am in a style that I rarely get to perform in. You have no idea the impact that this experience has had on me and for that I will never know how to repay you.
The second reason I have written this blog is to share with all, my students, young & mature dancers, everyone who aspires to be a creative. The understanding that whilst you may have seen perfection and believed that it must have been so easy and simple to achieve what we did, is not at all true.
You may see us all as these tough and assured artists and dream to be as sure of yourself one day too. But I want to remind you that we are all human. I wish you could have had a peek of the process that we each had to go through to get to the point that we reached on stage. It was through the break downs that we had break throughs, the doubt and constant questioning of if and what we were was enough. We all felt it. We all doubted ourselves and it was through persistence, support and love of each other but most importantly of ourselves that we reached that level of sharing.
I had constant and incessant chatter in my head, negative thoughts creeping in saying “Cat, you look stupid” of “Cat, no one is going to get it” or “Cat, you’re not enough” and I had to make a choice to let that crap GO. I couldn’t rely on my cast to feed my ego by telling me I looked good and that I was great, because the reality is, when you need people to feed your assuredness for you, it is never going to be enough. I had to tell myself that I was good enough, and that what I had to share was important. Even if I didn’t believe it at the time! I had to let go of the drama filled story that kept trying to push me down in order to feel “safe”.
Yes, fear is comfort. Living in fear that everything will be bad or go wrong because if it does, you feel safe and protected because you “knew” it was going to happen. Oh yeah, fear looks like a great place to view the world from!
But fear is incapacitating. It chokes and restricts. And it kills all magic & wonderous possibility.
I ask you to choose love instead.
Live in love. And that everything you do is supported by something much greater than you and your knowledge.
Live in love. And see every opportunity as an experience to heal and to grow.
Live in love. And you will help others find their way too.
Live in love. And you will be unstoppable.
Thank you x
Photography by Pru Wilson