11 Oct 2017
In this last scheduled newsletter; I wanted to discuss my overall experience at the Prix de Lausanne.
Prior to arriving, I was nervous and excited to work at the competition. However, towards the end of the week, I was surprised by how fitting the comment from candidate Jack Joshua Price was: “Wherever you end up is where you are meant to be”. This reminded me to continue to trust and stay open for what was to come, both at the competition and in life, since the adaptation becomes more enjoyable and less stressful.
Surrounded by so many people with different nationalities who love dance, I felt right at home. The welcoming atmosphere and people´s humble respect made me realize the kind of environment I aspire to be immersed in. No matter the roles or experiences of the staff, dance professionals, or candidates, everyone was equally valued since everybody was at the competition for a reason. I felt challenged, useful, and knew that no matter the responsibility, we were all in some way trying to maintain a 45 year long tradition. What a remarkable objective! As a first real life example of this ambiance in the dance industry, the week´s interactions became more stimulating, inspiring, and motivating than I imagined.
Seeing how people from different countries had to adapt to time change, culture, and the competition spirit, made me wonder what was really going on in people´s minds. Constantly being challenged by the unknown must have affected their interpretations before they chose to react. However, the importance of embracing life and dance as one was a common theme encouraged by professionals in discussions and rehearsals, which I think made people understand and connect to each other more.
I also noticed how once the dancers became mentally present and receptive, the value of the teachers and coaches’ handover increased. Depending on maturity and integrity, the ability to understand instructions varied, but overall, most candidates connected to the metaphors, story-telling, and characteristics of qualities used. Examples described to create realistic body initiations sometimes even made me laugh since I recognized how oddly effective specific vocabulary can be for me as well. Similarly to the way I am trained, the instructors often emphasized the human rather than abstract approach, which developed the dancer´s committed eye focus, range, and opposition while working with and against gravity. Now with the competition being over, I am grateful to say that certain energies, qualities, and visuals have encouraged me to let experiences happen in my body more when dancing, instead of trying to control them.
Another aspect that made an impact on me was the responsive audience during the finals. Technique and performative aspects that made me tense up or smile because of the kinesthetic response I often feel when watching dance, surprisingly resonated with verbal reactions from the audience. There is something so exciting and touching when artists are not being apologetic, but are still humble and eager. However, often sitting beside people who would keep this kind of thrill and opinion to themselves, a new and lively attitude was introduced to me in the Théâtre de Beaulieu.
Soon transitioning into the professional field, I think there was a purpose for being invited to the Prix. Ideally, I aspire to be in a place where people share passion, commitment, values, educational approaches, and promotional methods to effectively work towards making dance more accessible, alive, and human for everyone.