September 18th, 2022
Dear Stephanie Gilliland, and Tongue, as I collate the work as a dance maker, I come upon the materials of our shared show, and the hosted workshop, in Santa Barbara. I was so moved by your show in Los Angeles (yes, Gerry Marr, Stephen and I, we made the schlep on more than one occasion to L.A. from S.B. to see your work). I felt it really important to find a way to bring you up. This was also, in part, inspired by a prompt from Nancy Colohan, to associate the work with other artists of a caliber that resonated with me.
From this experience, I learned, how important it is to support artists, and in particular, to provide opportunity in new places, where audiences have no pre-conceived notions about you as an artist. The fresh perspective enables and artist to grow, and deepen, and widen and I could see your company going somewhere new. It set the tone for my career, and taught me the importance of seeking opportunity and creating opportunity in other cities and other countries.
You were such an amazing mentor to me, and in hindsight, I can see why the spirits would choose you as a mentor for my own fitful start of a dance journey. The commitment to creative exploration, to community, and the sheer grit and determination to continue on with making the work. Thank you for the rich memories and the honor and joy of not only hosting you, but performing in the same evening of work. I will never forget the trip to the hardware store, where you showed me the art and craft of colored saran wrap as gels, and the wonder of makeshift lighting using clamp on lights, and ladders. For many years, I incorporated one of your warm-up exercises into my own movement practice and carried you with me to all the places the adventure took me, at home, and abroad. With infinite gratitude for your beauty, and so many blessings, I love you!
p.s. the work I premiered, went on to have a rich life, set on other dancers, and travelled California, and was set on Slovenian Dancer, with portions of the work being taken to my motherʻs homeland, Slovenia, to be performed at the Cankarjev Dom, what a joy!