Summer, 2019-20

Life is a dance. I brush the air with my fingertips, twisting through space. I bend in to listen as another dancer speaks. Our conversation spirals larger and wider as we gesture and laugh, our feet shifting us forward. We emulate each other. We play. The taller lilting body catapults sideways, launching a complex manipulation of bone, muscle and sinew. The movement is a unique imprint on the surface of the earth–and on me, as I scurry to keep up. I call out, my heart beating faster. I skip, trip, and reach to catch hold of the tilting form ahead. I want to understand the inflection of monologue, and interject my own thoughts. The extensions of the other body compel me to wait and observe. I sway. My head twists left. I close my eyes. I feel the breath of a moving form, then stillness.

Life is dance. I am alone in the space. I feel acute loneliness swelling within organs restrained only by skin. My hands clench. I fall backwards. Caught by an instinctive reaction against gravity, my back foot thrusts my torso skyward. I leap high, fall hard: recover stronger. I soar, uninhibited. I feel the flush in my cheeks as I gulp in air. I spin by myself, and I balance on one foot. I make up fancy new steps, and giggle at my own silliness. I am partnered by time. Brimming with possibility, I explore the range of my body. I trust. I test boundaries, crafting nuanced phrases. I ask with my eyes, my knees, my toes, my spleen. I question with my elbows, my heart, my stomach. I listen with my spirit, my mind. The articulation of speech is distinct; the conventions of genre well-practiced. I am free to follow the path of the dance.

Life’s dance: unexpected beauty, danger, risk, terror. We try. We fall. We fly. We can be still. We can be frenetic. We are listeners, receivers, movers, speakers. The pulse of a musical refrain inspires, creates, incites, impels motion. We act. We invite contact improvisation. We love, embrace, and expand. We ache, hurt, and so, wait. And w a i t. As the bodies change, so does the dance. Timing is critical for changing the steps. We attune our bodies to the dynamics of others. Delicately, we exit. We return for a final encore; joining the cast gambolling in joy and perfection.


Luci 1 Luci 2 


Photographs of, and by, Lucinda Coleman, during her Ausdance (WA) Dance Artist in Residence (DAIR) Placement, at the YMCA HQ, Leederville, Western Australia, 2019, reprinted with permission.