Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I want to be a dancer

Dancers arms Posted by Hello

When I was a little girl, my mother used to play over and over again the Violin Concerto of Beethoven, I remember that my first improvised dance steps began there. It was Oistrakh playing, if I well remember.
As every child, I dreamed to become an astronaut or a fireman/woman or a dancer. My parents found this to be very cute.

The first dream to go away was about extinguishing fires, years later I gave up on being an astronaut, but the dream of becoming a dancer stayed. Not so cute anymore for my parents though.
Their argument was logical. They were artists themselves and they wanted for their daughter a more secure career, even becoming a musician was better than a dancer.
Dancers at the end had been at the bottom of the artistic list for ages. But I continued my dream. Yes I became a dancer. And I was proud of myself to have endured, competition and diets.

Working in a theatre is like living in another planet, because it IS another planet. I was proud of having a good job. At the end I could show to my parents that I could have a secure job, if I was careful enough not to break a knee.

But to the outside world, my profession was dubious. There were the people that asked me: “which is your profession?” or “what do you do?” (Funny I always feel like answering: I breathe). Of course I would proudly say: “I am a dancer”. So people would insist: “I mean what do you do for a living? “. “I am a dancer” I would gently repeat. “No, no, which is your career?”………they couldn’t understand that dancing was my profession. As many governments can’t understand this either.

Then I met the people that thought I worked in a cabaret, with feathers and high heels, entertaining the male eye. When I would try to explain, with my rehearsed patience that I was a “professional dancer” not a stripper. They used to change conversation, as if I was lying.

Today I am still a dancer, but I principally create dance-theatre pieces.. Today some people that ask me: “which is your profession” and I say: “I am a choreographer”,. react with a tiny pause and a lack of focus in their eyes especially if they are from the tax office. I realize they don’t know what a choreographer means, so they don’t ask.
Many times I imagine it has to sound to their ears something like “Photographer” or “Cartographer”

When at last my mother accepted the choice of my profession, she was happy that I was a ballet dancer. Many years later, when I had become a “Cartographer”, she was unhappy. “Daughter”- she would say with a sight- “Do people like your crazy choreographies?” She never could understand how I could have switched from Ballet to completely avant-garde. I stopped sending her videos of my work and also I stopped making money with my art.

But this doesn’t discourage me. I still think I made the right decision. I prefer to watch the astronauts in TV and I always feel that it would be too claustrophobic the trip for me anyway. And also impossible to dance.


Max Bouillet said...

This is a wonderful non-fiction piece. Maybe you "should choose a more secure line of work" and try your hand at journalism. ;) All kidding aside, this is a masterfully written piece that captures a feeling of warmth and defiance to the norm. It demonstrates to others that they should not give up their dreams, but it also lets them know the path may not be easy. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.

Andrea said...

Thanks Max.
This gives me motivation to write.

I really enjoy to write when I have time, but because I am not a writer, many times I think is better to publish a picture.

Sometimes we are our worst own critic LOL

Thanks again :-)