BAREFOOTNOTES (Observations from the Editor): Things I am Learning About Re-Entry, The New Normal, and The Wisdom of Herman Cornejo
Is it still appropriate to stop and reflect? As New York City, revives after a year and a half of pandemic-induced limbo, I find myself puzzling over how to move forward. I feel a bit guilty that I don’t have a clue. It’s almost November and my mind is still somewhere at the beginning of summer (if even).
The good news is that our dance community bursts with energy and direction. Announcements of multiple shows (live and streamed), opportunities, awards, books, grants, new equitable missions, and bold humanitarian directions swirl in the atmosphere. What confuses me is the Go-Go-Go mantra of “the new normal.”
"Let’s get back to normal. We’re back to normal, let’s be more than normal — ultra-normal deluxe." Of course, the excitement is great, but I am finding it difficult to be swept into its super-productivity drive.
Words don’t come to me.
I do, however, enjoy reading what others have to say.
Something that struck me particularly was a post by American Ballet Theatre's veteran dancer Herman Cornejo on Instagram (my favorite of the social media sites, as it seems the most open to positive communication)
“Since the beginning of rehearsals, 6 weeks ago, the day of the show was the first time I saw Skylar’s face. Being masked for everyday work and preventing the unknown in the outside world has been a challenge. All was worth it.
That incandescent stage lights, fitted costumes, the darkness coming from the front of the house, the audience’s whispers from time to time, the sounds of props on stage, the support backstage from the team, all felt new . I’m so glad we are back and that everyone is safe. Thank you…”
Quite the opposite of promoting up-to-date awesomeness, Herman’s post touched me with its gratitude for a beauty which has always been there — perhaps under-appreciated.
As I slowly wind my way back to something that feels “normal,” I would like to thank the dancers I have known and covered over the years, and the writers who have contributed to The Dance Enthusiast for, well, just about everything.
I thought I would miss performing when I stopped to devote more time to family and this project. What I discovered or rather recovered, was my appreciation for the gift of life, for the multitude of ways our existence can be expressed by creative moving artists, and for the inspiration and sense of community your stories inspire.
Though not feeling quite present as yet, to (again) quote the wise ballet dancer, Herman Cornejo, “I am so glad we’re back.”