Stand in the Valley
Choreographer and Performer: Rebekah Chappell
Selected for Talk the Temple, The Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA (2015)
Co-Curated by Kuldeep Singh, Heidi Wiren Bartlett, and Dana O'Malley
Selected for Graduate/Undergraduate Concert, The University of Iowa (2015)
Selected for The Charlotte Dance Festival, Charlotte, NC (2017)
Selected for Somatic Dance Conference, Informal Concert, Geneva, NY (2018)
Music: Queer Dharma (for Bobby) by Sam Gas Can, from Free Music Archive, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Deep River by Seth Guy, from Free Music Archive, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
Photos by: Zachary Grey Phelps, and Derek Blackman
I take a deep breath and slowly walk into the space. I am distracted by the unfamiliar landscape, hyper sensitive to the silence and tension of the audience. The air is filled with a sense of waiting, uncertainty and it takes me a minute to drop into the work. Eventually, my attention narrows and I begin to listen to the residual affect the movement is having on my self. I am finally present, gradually releasing the build up of my inner topography. The dance has become a way of letting go, shedding the doubt, fear, and anxiety of the now.
It is the day after the show and I am struck by a lack of finality. I feel a deep sadness that the process has concluded, the performance closing that stage of the work. I am not ready for it to be over, but I know that it will not be the same again. While I will return to the dance, it will be different; I will hold a sea of witnesses in my mind’s eye, recalling the moment my personal practice was made public. I will remember the gathering of friends watching throughout the space, supporting me through my unfolding. It is in this gesture that it finally dawns on me that I have found a community here.