SPEAK By Michelle Fletcher

By Michelle Fletcher

October 1, 2009, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

I am writing you because I just quit my 9-5 job as a personal trainer. I started a dance company, Here Now Dance Collective. Knowing you and the pressure we grew up with to ‘get a real job,’ you probably think I am crazy. I can just imagine you now: “In these hard economic times, you were lucky to have a job in the first place.” Yadda yadda…maybe I should listen, but it is because of this very attitude that we do not see each other very often.
into a vast black hole.
We have lost touch. I can’t even remember what you look like. How can I reach you? I’ve tried, but technology has failed me. We have become a push button society. You send me a text: HI OMG LOTI CU L8R WTF! I am not good at this. I am wondering how to touch you, how to respond to your need for speed (NFS). I’ve tried to keep up. I send you a video through YouTube of my latest work. You compare it to So You Think You Can Dance. My video is pixilated, poorly produced, and has no “sudden death” round. The feeling doesn’t translate, your Mac tries to delete me. I want to reach you before you die, before you find out Nietzsche was wrong…the hard way, before you kill the god inside you with commercialism and crappy food, before you never create. When I first met you, you loved everything, you were open, you went to see all you could, then as you honed your taste, you became picky, you wanted to be impressed, surprised…me too. But that is hard to do because life gets complicated, things have been invented to make life easier. We should have cut things out, pared down, instead we did more, got more. Then life got dull.

Things are so easy now, you take it for granted. I complained that I never see you, so you Skyped me. I don’t have a camera in my computer, so I could only hear your voice. What a sweet sound it was—you produce a sound unlike any other—do you know what a smart, beautiful creature you are? That is why I want to touch you. Will you let me reach you? Will you come to me, come out, away from your desk, your chair, your stationary bike. Please let me share with you the beauty of being, the beauty of breathing, of being present, here, now. I will ask you to sit in the dark, to hold a balloon and to be brave enough to burst that balloon with the pressure of your physical being. I want you to wake yourself up, starting with your feet and moving up to your pelvis—don’t resist, there is a sagacious knowledge there. We need to embrace the visceral animal in us before you turn into part-metal or part-machine. Have you seen the billboards for Surrogates? I want to remind you that you are a bone and blood creature that can warm another. Story and space can exist together, micro and macro side by side, the yin and yang we search for, I will show you at one time.

Remember when we went to hear the Shakers sing? Their simple songs made you cry. When was the last time you cried because beauty overwhelmed you? Please come visit me, so that I can remind you to be present, to breathe, and show you that you carry the same beauty. Your presence helps me hold that beauty and to frame it for you…I miss you.

This article appeared in the October 2009 issue of In Dance.

Michelle Fletcher is the director of Here Now Dance Collective, a new dance company that stives to awaken its dancers, its audience, and its fellow human beings. Fletcher earned her BFA degree in dance from North Carolina School of the Arts and her MFA from Florida State Univeristy. Beside choreographing and directing HNDC, Fletcher dances with Purple Moon Dance Project. You can find information on showings and a premiere of Fletcher’s newest work with HNDC, “Who is Mary Jane?” at herenowdancecollective.com.