Paufve Dance uPDate [May 2020]
"Life During Life" Paufve Dance, Spring 2020 (view with volume turned up)
In late March, I left India and flew to Florida to stay with family during shelter in place. As Fulbrighters across the globe have had our grants cut short and returned home; with the deepening crisis faced by millions of Indians whose country was shut down swiftly and with little warning; with all the suffering wrought by COVID-19 and incoherent government responses – I count my blessings and thank Fulbright and the United States India Educational Foundation for supporting my project, and for getting us home safely.
I also thank my brother Steve for his generosity and companionship in this strange time. As some of you know, I came to Florida mainly to be with our father during his final days. He passed on April 25th. I am bereft. His obituary here.
While in India I studied Tamil; trained in Silambam, an ancient martial art form unique to Tamilnadu; viewed and learned Tamil folk dances; interviewed practitioners and scholars; and created a daily choreography practice in a nearby park, generating movement studies for solo and collaborative work, intended for performances in public spaces in Madurai.
Since returning, Julia (PD admin manager and all-round wonder woman) and I have resumed working behind the scenes with arts management consultant Amy Kweskin, developing a new strategic plan and preparing for our first advisory board meeting this fall.
I am continuing the outdoor choreography practice begun in India, working in Floridian parks, cemeteries, churchyards, and back alleys. Some of this material may move toward a collaboration with folk dancer Madurai Veeran, my teacher from 1982-’83, with whom I had the great good fortune to reconnect during my time in Madurai.
I love working outdoors, dancing with no walls, interacting with people as part of the work; it’s a game-changer, feels like collaborating with… the world. I don’t miss dance studios. Except for turning. So I don’t turn much. On the other hand, I may kiss the first sprung floor I get to dance on.
PD will be blogging/posting/newsletter-ing more frequently from here on out with upcoming reports about my research and experiences in India, and all the ways Paufve Dance is moving forward. COVID willing, I will return to the Bay Area by June 15 and will resume rehearsals and teaching shortly thereafter.
Till soon again, thank you dear friends of Paufve Dance.
With love from Gotha, Florida