Last Sunday the Moore Dance Company gave its first performance as an official company. I got a lot more nervous than I had in past performances. Somehow the label of "company" made me worry; was my choreography worthy of company status, would the audience be
less forgiving, would I make a fool of myself speaking between numbers. And it made me see , once again, how hard we are on ourselves. The judgements and labels we put on every little thing sometimes stop us in our tracks. The quest for perfection rendering us incapable of action. I am so lucky that Company members Becca Brynga and Ellie Wallace convinced me that what I do was enough; they gave me the courage to step outside of my comfort zone, and it was a blessing.
Our whole performance was a blessing. And in fact, one of our pieces is actually called A Blessing. Set to the incredible music of Max Richter (if you don’t know him, find him on Spotify, and lose yourself in his world), I created this dance during a time of tragedy in my life. I wanted to show the beauty of reaching out, and letting others in during hard times. I wanted to show how we all go through life, thinking we are alone, when in reality if we are brave enough to reach out, we find so many others struggle as we do. For this performance I added a silent beginning, trying to express my belief that we are all so alike, yet we can be blind ourselves to others. I wanted the dancers to show that while we have relative differences; in the truest sense we are all alike. Ellie and Corey dance it so beautifully; there were moments when they appeared to share a body. Watching them, I was so moved I forgot I choreographed the dance. I felt their connection and the joy of not being alone in this sometimes cruel world, just as I want the women in Congo to know they are not alone.
Our theme , Dance for Congo, Dance for Love roared to life last Sunday. We had more than a full house, it was SRO. I didn’t expect that on a Sunday afternoon in October. We were competing with leaf peeping, football, movies, and all the other things that consume our weekends. Attendance was a blessing; the generosity of the crowd another. The crowd connected to us, and our cause; and the donations were incredible.
We are all connected. It does not matter that the women and girls we are trying to help live in Africa. We all want the same things; love, family, education, opportunities, and the chance to be safe in our environment.
Here in Vermont, we are truly blessed. Good schools, progressive thinking, and low crime create an environment for our girls to thrive.
The Congo has been described as the most dangerous place in the world for girls. Yet, we have people like Cleophace fighting back. Ibutwa has created a safe haven for hurt women and girls, providing medical care, counseling, education and job opportunities. In a time of darkness, Ibutwa shines a light. And with our performance on Sunday, we will help that light keep shining.
At the Ibutwa facility, the cost of educating one girl is just $5. The generous members of our audience, and some online donations raised almost $1,500. In our world, this may not be seen as much, but at Ibutwa it is life changing.
And that is a real blessing.