Today I realized I have come full circle in my solo journey. Or rather that I have completed some sort of cycle. Exactly one year ago today I completed 10 years with TU Dance. Meaning, I gave my last performance, honored by flowers and a standing ovation. A writer from The Star Tribune wrote that I danced a "devastating solo" in Uri Sands' Matter...
Immediately after that moment my life went into free fall. I found myself in a financial bind...stress in my personal life...anxiety about the unknown. I sought support and healing. I joined a special 8-week mindfulness class for folks who suffer from anxiety and depression. I began seeing a counselor and joined a support group whose name shall remain Anonymous.
Then my life changed when I got to Trinidad. I came face to face with myself and through my month-long Catharsis residency and subsequent visit in November, I've come through highs and lows, defeats and triumphs, sweet and bitter moments.
I bought a journal at the end of last summer, and like I used to do as a kid, wrote in its last page the words I wanted my future self to remember:
"I came here [Trinidad] to:
1. Re-discover, re-define my Afro-Caribbean identity without the white gaze or program structure
3. Learn how to get back to loving myself
4. Find and re-discover the old me (from my youth)
5. Begin working on a new piece, a collaborative performance art project for performers, myself and sister, Elyse Morris with the support of my Caribbean community, family and friends."
Please God (as we say) I can premiere my solo project, "Yam, Potatoe an Fish!" this year. This work is ready for the stage! After three showings (Arima, September 2017; Brooklyn, January 2018; Saint Paul, April 2018) and Port of Spain this July--by building community support and soliciting feedback I am confident that this is the right work at the right moment.
I need to see it in all its glory! And I need to see it in conversation with the other works on my solo program--2015 McKnight SOLO commission by Idan Sharabi and 2017 commission by Jamie Philbert.
Long Journey Home: an evening of solos exploring Home, Identity and Displacement.