Tomorrow, I get to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. I will do this with my niece and her three young children, ages seven, five and two. Selfies will be captured, and a bridge-dance will spontaneously happen that both embarrasses the kids and makes them laugh. This bridge-dance—like many dances—has the ability to instigate more dances while recalling silly and grand moments with family. Tomorrow, we walk hand in hand along a bridge that inspires movies, songs, paintings and of course a dance or two.
Our experience of traversing a steel span that is known world-wide, whose color is international orange, bordered by the vast Pacific Ocean—an awe-inspiring vista that includes fog, salty air and seagulls galore—amplifies our shared experience that will be fondly remembered and talked about for years to come.
And tomorrow’s moments will soon be layered upon others that likely lead to a place unforeseen. They will become memories, each timelessly stuffed with flashes of knowing and not knowing—and in memories’ dream-like trances exist the beauty of none of it needing to be right. It occurs to me that the need to be right continues to impact personal and global issues. From mundane concerns about who said what in the midst of an argument to grander platforms where the need to be right has charged conversations on politics, affordable housing, homelessness, abortion, gun violence, climate change, and so much more.
Life quickly shifts these days from play to protest. How might the continued building of bridges help us deepen connection and understanding? Writing, reading and listening are age old methods to process the myriad machinations found online, in person, in print and on the media.
This expanded and expansive issue of In Dance provides ample opportunity to connect. Highlights include Sima Belmar’s conversation with former New York Times dance critic Claudia Lo Rocco, now the Editor-in-Chief of SFMOMA’s online and live interdisciplinary platform Open Space. Belmar describes how Lo Rocco’s current gig “initiates from this question of intimacy in relation to performance criticism, and it is this always questioning, ever experimental approach that reveals criticism, history, reporting, and documentation as aesthetic practices in their own right.”
In Marie Tollon’s piece, Bay Area-based choreographer Byb Bibene reveals how a visit to a museum in Paris provided the opportunity to connect with carved wooden objects called nkisi nkondi that originated from his native land, the Congo. Erasure of history through colonization turned into “the start of a personal revolution” for Bibene. And in this new work he is asking questions like “What would have happened if people had held on to their beliefs and their healing practices? What if people didn’t embrace Christianity?”
The many images and articles within are shaped by their own sense of time, place and memory, which guide us toward a path. Yet what I often observe is that there’s not a single route to take but medusa-like forks in the road – maybe they are metaphors, or talisman, for potential. The reality of multi-pronged directions quickly becomes folklore and shared history and with the sharing and retelling the observer learns something new and is reminded that there is no wrong path to take: just bridges to find and cross.
Roam these pages to engage with artists, experience new work, while enjoying images and ideas that are reflective of divergent and diverse practices.