As we enter into this new year of 2021, I am thinking of what 2020 was supposed to be for 773 Dance Project and what I learned from the changes to that plan. In 2020 we were set to have our premiere performance at the Harold Washington Cultural Center. This event is one I have seen in my head a million times. I’ve imagined the words I’d say to the audience before the start of the show. I’ve pictured a full house of guests receiving those words. I’ve seen my movement ideas playing out on that stage. I even anticipated crying the tears I’d surely cry just as I do whenever I sit with this vision.
The pandemic pushed that dream further into the future and brought a huge challenge to me. Creating dance experiences for the virtual space isn’t something I ever saw for myself and I struggle to find the inspiration to do it now. It’s frustrating because I chose my career path out of a desire to never do anything that didn’t inspire me, yet here we are. However, it’s also humbling. Typically, dance companies are founded with the purpose of presenting the work of a choreographer. For us, that is only a part of our purpose. Our goal is to increase accessibility to dance which, in a virtual space, is a much easier attained goal. I realized this moment was an opportunity to step outside of myself and into the true purpose of 773 Dance Project. This company does not exist to satisfy my vision and the work we will do during this time in the virtual space is just as important as the work we’ll do once we’re out.
So as we push through this time where we cannot fully be as we want to, keep your visions close. See yourself gathering with your loved ones. See yourself in the places that you enjoyed before the pandemic. See yourself achieving the goals you had to put on pause in this time. Use those images as fuel and then do the work that will allow you to see them in real life. That work is staying at home, pushing through your loneliness, and continually dreaming.