by Alexandra Tiscareno
The Rogue Festival is almost here! Enjoy another Rogue Festival performer preview article, with one or 2 more to come between now and the Festival and more that have already been published this month in our A & E section. We also have an article about this year’s Rogue Festival Muse, and once Rogue begins, watch for reviews and video interviews. For more information on the Festival itself check out their website and keep an eye on KRL’s Rogue Festival Event Page.
Nothing is Beautiful; Everything is Fine was born around this time last year. I was struggling to survive through my everyday life and found myself constantly thinking about how I could open up to people about what I was feeling. The thought of vulnerability and vocalizing what my brain was telling me was absolutely terrifying. I have always been the person my friends would come to when they were struggling and needed someone strong, so how was I going to tell people that I was falling apart when they expected me to be their rock. Though society has become more accepting of people with mental illness talking about their fight, it was and is something I am not completely open about. I found myself struggling to bring my thoughts to life in a way that wasn’t too predictable yet wasn’t too abstract. How could I show people that I was broken inside without blatantly telling them I was? It wasn’t until I went to Maine for the Bates Dance Festival that everything clicked.
When I came home, I immediately went to work on creating the show for Seattle to Fresno. I found myself creating open ended ideas so that the audience could feel like they could make the show personal to them while also keeping true to my choreographic voice. What I didn’t expect is that those who saw it were greatly impacted. I had audience members come up to me to tell me they felt seen, that I was able to depict what their anxiety and PTSD felt like, and that they felt that someone finally understood them. Some cried, some laughed, and others pondered. It was beautiful to me because through them sharing their stories, I found comfort as well without shouting my experience from the rooftops.
When I began revisiting the concept back in October, the #MeToo movement had started. I was in shock over the amount of women I knew, including some of my dancers, that had shared their stories. I found it raw, vulnerable, and powerful. It started turning my creative gears, and I found myself wondering what other experiences the dancers have had. I decided I was going to start a dialogue with them, asking them to raise their hands if certain situations applied to them. I was curious as to what they would raise their hand to and if they were willing to be vulnerable. That Sunday, I began the rehearsal with the exercise ‘Raise your hand if…’ From there, I knew that my vision for what I wanted the show to be had shifted. Many times we, as choreographers, want the dancers to “play the part.” They should be happy here, sad here, mad here, etc., but what would they do if given the opportunity to bring their own experience to the show? What would they do if someone gave them a chance to share their story?
Just like the #MeToo movement, I created this show to be raw, vulnerable, and powerful, and it is just that. It shows that, though times are bleak right now, there is beauty in vulnerability. It shows that you can be strong when baring your deepest thoughts, emotions, and it ultimately shows that you are not alone. This show is not a political statement of what we support or are against. It’s a show that is designed for the audience to go on this vulnerable journey with the performers through the traumas that life has presented us with; it’s refreshing and thought-provoking. It is our ultimate hope that audiences can experience this and open up dialogue about what was witnessed.
60-minute Dance Show
PG-13 (May have some adult content)
816 N. FULTON, 93728
Show Dates and Times:
Friday, March 2 @ 10 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 @ 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 4 @ 8 p.m.
Cash, Credit, or Online
$12 at door