Posts

Thanks to Paul Taylor and William J. Fulbright.

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My first entry on this blog was June 30th, 2018. Today I have decided this will be the last entry on this particular collection of reflections and remembrances. I started out wondering how, or if, my perceptions on anything might be different after six months on my own in India. After reading through all that I have written and documented, I don’t have any clear answer. But I would like to “wrap up” with some last thoughts and a “thank you” to everyone that has taken time to read even one post, much less the whole epic.
Spending half an orbit of the earth around the sun on the opposite side of the globe from my “home” is a sobering reminder that “life goes on” no matter where I might be located. Living in the moment as best as I know how, has been my response to the deaths of friends and mentors. The loss I feel in my life from friends who have died in the past year compels me to give them a few words here. It is not like we necessarily lived close by, or even that we had ongoing commu…

Leaving India Six Months Later

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So I am back at home in New York City, and jet lag has me far too awake at 5:00 AM. The twenty-four hour travel day to get here from Mumbai was taken up with multiple periods of waiting… to check-in (45 minutes)… to go through security (1 hour 15 minutes)… to be processed at immigration (35 minutes)… to get on first flight to Delhi (1 hour 30 minutes)… to go through two security checks in Delhi (45 minutes)… and finally, to get on flight to New York which took sixteen hours in and of itself. Customs and immigration coming into John F. Kennedy Airport in NYC is going through some changes and it seems as though everyone has to get used to being partially (if not wholly) processed at an electronic kiosk. Astonishingly, from my plane touching down on the tarmac to getting in my front door took only about an hour, which has to be some kind of new record for me on returning from an international trip. As I was flying “economy” on a full flight for this trip home, it was neither easy nor comf…

Writing Challenges Me...

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To organize my thoughts. To manage my time. To consider how I might be perceived. To be disciplined in my practice. But it also takes more time than I can afford, especially this week.

On the point of writing, many years ago, I decided to create and write a short story as a gift for a friend. I had given myself a deadline to pass on the finished product as a Christmas gift, which meant I had about three months. I dedicated a minimum of an hour every day to writing, and once the writing was done, I moved on to editing, and then I moved on to illustrating, and then I moved on to crafting a one-of-a-kind-gift bound into a single book. In the end, the process ended up taking me almost eighteen months, the final product was gifted as a birthday present two years later than I had intended. For the past two days I have been completing the final reports for my Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship that are due prior to the end of my grant period on Saturday to come. While most of the reportage is more li…

Teaching Taylor in Goa. Celebrating Paul Taylor in NYC.

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Paul Taylor once said that he planned to live forever, and that sentiment has been publicly interpreted on social media this past week to be a truth found in his dances by those who perform them and those who witness them. As of August 29th, 2018, those of us who consider ourselves members of the “Taylor Family” became the orphans of Paul Taylor’s mortal beneficence. Now we carry the label of the generation that were “chosen” by Paul. From thence forward, there can be no more dancers, teachers, administrators that will join the Paul Taylor namesake organization who will have his judgement be the deciding factor in their initiation. Emotionally, this was a surprisingly hard week for me. I was literally in the air flying to India when Paul Taylor died. And when so many of the Taylor Family and devotees were gathered in Lincoln Center on Monday in New York City to participate in a memorial performance honoring Paul, I was in India teaching, in part due to being a member of the Taylor Fami…

Airport Culture and Travel

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So a lot has been going on in this past week for me. I am sitting at the domestic terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (I still have to look up how to spell the first two words). In about an hour, I am guessing that it will make sense for me to stand in the crowds approaching my departure gate for my flight to Goa from Mumbai. Earlier today, I had decided to go to the airport with plenty of time before my flight, as I did not know what congestion I might encounter, whether by traffic, security and identity checks, bag checks, and my general lack of knowledge about this particular terminal. Each time I have flown out of Mumbai, I have left from Terminal 2, the international terminal, though I did arrive back from Delhi to this terminal. If this is not yet confusing, then read on. I planned on using any extra time I had at the airport to try and finish my blog entry for this week, and so once I reached the waiting area, I gathered myself to find a quiet corner where I co…

Filling the Available Time.

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When my friend Jeff astutely noted that I might be “cognitively” exhausted from my sojourns here in India, I began to think about how I felt at the end of any time limited period of work. If there was a three week performance run, or a six week tour, or an eight week staging project, the last week always felt the hardest to me. It is as though my body and mind knew just how much energy and focus was required, given that I knew when the end was going to be. I have often credited professionals in the performing industry with understanding deadlines. When the curtain goes up on a performance, there can be no more delays or excuses. And I have often been caught off guard when encountering professionals in other industries that don’t respect deadlines. I also recognize that completing a project by a certain date or time inevitably is more stressful the closer to the end one gets. For myself, there are always things that I cannot do too long in advance, and as a result, I rely on experience …