I            WANT            TO            RUN            FAR            AWAY            FROM            HERE

I WANT TO RUN 

WANT TO RUN

RUN AWAY 

FAR FROM HERE 

HERE I RUN

HERE I RUN

 AWAY FROM I

I AWAY FROM I

I WANT I WANT

I WANT AWAY

I WANT I WANT

I WANT

 AWAY

I HERE FAR AWAY, WANT 

I HERE FAR AWAY, WANT

I WANT FROM WANT

I WANT FROM WANT

I WANT I WANT

I WANT I TO I 

I TO I TO I TO I TO

March         22nd      2020

The future seemed impossible at the beginning. Two weeks of quarantine became an endless fog towards forever. My body is a vessel made of histories, visions and inertia. I struggled to slow down and was no longer able to ignore the internal struggles this dance hustle, this city shuffle, channelled away. The shadows, silent and ignored, creeped in. Fear and uncertainty lingered as the walls that defined my art, livelihood, and home decomposed. I was burnt out at the start of the pandemic, triggered by the smallest spark.

I fell into the solitude. Covid-19 became a space and time for internal resetting. For the first time in my life, I took a break. I slept without judgment and ate nourishing food made from scratch. I slowed down, and learned to meditate to settle my moving mind. Before the pandemic, I felt disconnected from the joy of dancing. I questioned my relationship to this gift within my soul. Moving is magical healing. Lost concepts against the demands of training and industry. I went for long walks, discovering quiet spaces in my neighborhood. I biked and ran, trying to keep my heart open. I improvised alone in my home, in parks, courts and forests. Gradually, I began to find joy in the small ways of moving.  I felt embraced by the far out spirits of Alice and John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Albert Ayer as I moved in my pleasure without a gaze in the world. 

This resetting allowed me space to reconnect with my family. I assisted my siblings, Julius and Ellis as they learned from home. In turn, I learned from them, adaptability is key. They do not know life without the internet. They build universes online like life is a game. Julius and friends went to concerts in virtual worlds. Ellis knew Zoom before the 2nd grade. The internet is the infrastructure of our future. It is now necessary for our mental health. It is our link to the outside world. The keeper of our images and memories. A web for networking and maintaining community. A tool for and against ignorance. Like clean water, air, justice and food, the internet will be a right to fight for. Will we survive without it?

Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower spoke prophecy to me. “God is Change” she said. We are never the same as before. Months of isolation shifted everything. It called for a new living space. I found love and partnership.  I got to know my family as my tribe. I lost friendships. I grew to have a deeper appreciation for the rituals of gathering and spaces to witness. Therapy helped me along this journey, as did making space for the spirit. Self love is a continual process I was happy to begin during the pandemic.

Through these waves of openings and closings, I lean into an aspect of my training, flexibility. Past plagues did not remove performance from our humanity, but it did change society. I was grateful for a moment to pause and question my relationships to life and dance. I step into today with the knowledge and faith found in isolation, there is meaning even in the most difficult circumstances. We will not be returning to our regularly scheduled practices that led to our industry’s burnout. I am in this strange new world with a greater respect for our divine labor. The future will always be uncertain, and there is nowhere to go, but through. 

Kyle Marshall // 8.7.21
Choreographer // Performer // Teacher

 

 

Choreographer and dancer Kyle Marshall is a 2018 Juried Bessie Award winner, NJ State Council on the Arts Fellow and 2020 Dance Magazine Harkness Promise Awardee. Founded in 2014, Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC) is a company that sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform and a site of celebration. Kyle Marshall Choreography has performed at venues including: BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joe’s Pub at the Public, Actors Fund Arts Center, NJPAC, NYC Summerstage, Wassaic Arts Project, and Conduit Dance (PDX). Commissions have included: “Dance on the Lawn” Montclair’s Dance Festival, NJPAC and Harlem Stage. Kyle has taught masterclass and creative workshops at the American Dance Festival, Montclair State University, County Prep High School and Muhlenberg College. He has been a recipient of residencies from MANA Contemporary, 92nd st Y, CPR and Jamaica Performing Arts Center. Kyle dances with the Trisha Brown Dance Company. He has also worked with doug elkins choreography etc., and Tiffany Mills Company. Kyle graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance and resides in Jersey City.

 

Photo credit: David Gonsier