vestibular mantra (or radical virtuosities for a brave new dance) [i]
stay wild. stay feral, stay mystified. stay throwing
fits, stay having no answers. stay
heart-centered, stay permeable.
(Enter stage left)
stay high-low brow, stay curious, stay rioting,
stay asking tough questions, stay unclassifiable,
stay getting crazy looks.
(Group two go)
stay crying in public, stay out of sorts,
stay forgetting the combo, stay with the
ripped pantyhose and the pit-stained tees.
because in this new dance we
play gravity like a pick primping its last ‘do.
(Slow rise the volume)
stay visible, stay wanting more, stay addressing
what’s not there and what the
audience isn’t willing to see.
because as fish swim and birds fly, we stand against
the pressure—up, out, off, in, for and against
the ceaseless, creaseless pressure.
stay fearless and momentous. stay
unwieldy and excretory. stay oceanic. keep
letting this piece drag on. stay humble.
because we were born with resistance in our spines.
stay chained to that fence, that tree, that railway
track, one another. stay over the rainbow, kaleidoscopic.
because we don’t collapse so much as
fold over, like prostrate
origami tumbling through dense sky.
(Sidelights at half)
in this duet you’re looking at me—the real me—and
the air is a substance, like cherry hair gel; it disturbs
your body enough to send it writhing toward the
upstage diagonal and into the wings. it should elicit laughs.
stay with the senses.
(Upstage lights fade out)
stay in the nectar, the marrow. stay deep
listening. stay daydreaming. stay being
the last person clapping, but stay honest.
i’m up to my knees and inverted. there’s a
little room to my side to insert about four
measures. we beat, we slide, but the ground
could never hook us.
stay staying and stay letting go.
(Music two go)
because we don’t collapse so much as bellow
in and out, collectivity lunging into one another like
an accordion before its next breath, and
in these folds lies the fervor.
stay loving everyone. stay eating the veggies
and the fruits. stay worshipping the sun. stay
knowing the street as the open museum of
our collective unfixable be-ings and
the art of living as the last reliable medium. stay
reading that heavy-weight theory shit but stay
knowing when to put it the fuck down. stay believing in
the classroom of your grandma, bus driver,
neighborhood tagger, pharmacist, dog, and the song
you can’t ever stop listening to.
because we don’t collapse so much as bend like light.
because we don’t collapse so much as stand on the brink.
because we don’t collapse so much as collapse together—
big bang bodies born into spontaneity.
because, anatomically antonymical,
resistance is what we are. because this dance did not
happen by accident. because we are the
we we’ve been bating our breath for.
stay metaphysical. stay knowing vision is a process
and seeing is not always believing.
stay questioning the frame—including this one here.
stay victorious in those psychic acro-antics,
standing yet again and again because the ground
is a process and our homes are mobile(s). ever, forever.
because we don’t collapse so much as swim
into the thick with-ness of pain and pleasure,
history and memory.
a woman. a man. a refusal to be either. a child. an
elder. an oracle. this theater. that house. age without decay.
this time i’ll reach for your neck—your real neck—and i won’t
let go until the plate is clean and the music climbs to silence.
stay knowing that if they get this dance, there might be something wrong.
stay knowing that if something is only to be gotten, we
might all be doing something wrong.
in technicolor canon we rise and fall. rock. roll.
[i] The vestibular system is a system of the body essential for spatial orientation and balance. In psychology, it explains the abilities to stand, move without falling, and focus the eyes on a single object even when the head is in motion. (www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/vestibular-system-13)
[box] Taisha Paggett – taisha paggett makes things and is interested in what bodies do. she believes language is tricky, thoughts are powerful, and that people are most beautiful when looking up. her work for the stage, gallery and public sphere include individual and collaborative investigations into questions of the body, agency and the phenomenology of race, and has been presented locally, nationally and internationally. she’s been a Guest Lecturer at the Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago since 2010. in addition to her group choreography and solo durational works, she has worked collaboratively, toured with and made significant creative contributions to the projects of Meg Wolfe, Victoria Marks, David Roussève, Cid Pearlman, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Baker-Tarpaga Projects, Kelly Nipper and Rebecca Alson-Milkman. Paggett is a former member of Ultra-red and maintains an ongoing collaborative project with visual artist Ashley Hunt, “On movement, thought and politics,” which has taken form as workshop, performance, video and mixed media installation. she holds an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and is a co-instigator of itch dance journal.
Seen Next: Studio Museum of Harlem, Fore. Nov 8, 2012 – Mar 10, 2013. I’ll perform a drawing performance for the Nov 8 opening which will be up for the duration of the show and will do a different performance Saturday February 23rd. St Mark’s Church. Food for Thought curated by Jenn Joy and Noémie Solomon. Saturday, December 15th.
Current Projects: Currently obsessed with energy, magic, meaning (re)making, things that are real despite their (supposed) invisibility, vision/seeing as an ideological problem, possession as a way of knowing and a pathway into performance, the trace experiences of performing, repetition as a way of knowing… Current show up at Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles titled LET’S USE THESE THINGS through Oct 27. Ongoing with itch dance journal project: itchjournal.org [/box]