I have started and erased what to say in this blog post more times than I care to admit. A show that is perhaps the most personal, cathartic piece of dance I’ve ever worked on and I’m rendered (nearly) speechless.
Do I tell you about our process?
Do I share one of the letters I submitted last summer to show where I was at a year ago compared to how?
Do I talk about how the journey of the Hero in this piece is so completely familiar and hits so close to home?
Truthfully, I don’t know what route to take today.
I think I will start by saying that I am thankful, so indescribably thankful and fortunate to work on this piece and share this story with some of the artists I consider my Chicago family. Most of us have worked together for 3 years and I am humbled to create alongside them and share a story of self-evaluation and empowerment. This has been one of the most determined, satisfying, fluid creative processes I’ve ever worked on. The ebb and flow of this group is remarkable and I am so proud of each and every team member we have in this piece. I could dote on them endlessly, so, if nothing else, I hope to see you at this show to celebrate their beautiful artistry and what they have each put into this collaboration.
I think from here I will also say that I feel incredibly vulnerable going into May and sharing this show with you, but I can’t wait for you to see this one. The past year has been one of growth and going from one of the darkest periods in my life to one where now, when people ask me how I’m doing, I can truthfully and unabashedly say, “I am happier than I have ever been.” So much of that happiness is new found and, for the first time, only reflective of the work I have done to confront the same “inner demons” the Hero does in this story we share in,I i bet you think this dance is about you.
This past year was the year of confronting grief, depression, heartbreak- and sitting in the quiet stillness of myself and finding a path that has lead me to self-empowerment and independency. Another reason I hope you see this show is because I truly believe there is something in this for everyone. We all have our universal, but still personal pains and hurts and heartbreaks. I think this piece engages the audience to consider how common our inner demons may be and how we can de-stigmatize the discussion of mental health and seeking help (and making help more accessible) when we want and need it.
Please come share in this journey with us. We have put our hearts and souls into this work and can’t wait to see you there.
Maggie Robinson is thrilled to be with CDE for a third season. She hails from Tennessee and received her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance (University of Memphis).
Photography by Matthew Gregory Hollis
One of my favorite things about IBYTTDIAY (and CDE in general), is the emphasis on interdisciplinary work. The final product will draw from dance, theater, writing, and an original score.
Several months ago, CDE put out a call for letters from the public that were never meant to be sent. We received all sorts of submissions ranging from deeply introspective to forcefully confrontational. We grouped these letters into different emotional brackets, the embodiments of which will appear in performance.
Everyone involved in this project has a different artistic background. Some are dancers, some actors, but through these last several months, we’ve all been able to learn from each other’s strengths and draw on our own to influence our individual characters.
I portray, ‘Grief’. My initial inspiration for this character came in shape of broad ideas and concepts, which with the help of Sara and my cast-mates has formed into a specific physical story.
One of the biggest challenges for me during this process has been to find specificity and not simply rely on the idea of what I’m trying to convey. Watching everyone else’s process and working to combine so many different artistic mediums towards one goal has been such a rewarding journey.
- Sarah Franzel
See Sarah perform as, 'Grief,' in, i bet you think this dance is about you!
Friday & Saturday, 8pm
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
Sarah Franzel is delighted to be working with CDE yet again after appearing in Ethereal Abandonment and the Adventures of Ricky the Rabbit (collaboration with Chicago parks district). She has worked with various companies in Maine and Chicago including Theater at Monmouth, Harborside Shakespeare, City Lit, EDGE, and Unrehearsed Shakespeare.
Photography by Matthew Gregory Hollis
i bet you think this dance is about you, is incredibly poignant to me personally. It coincides closely with an event coming up in my personal life. I thought this event would welcome my partner being with me, but rather may cause some heads to turn and judgement to be passed. It seems that my homosexual lifestyle is not as understood after coming out as I thought and it really hurts.
To have trust in those whom you think accept you and to later have that acceptance revealed as confusion, with no capability of support, feels like everything crashing down around you.
I believe I've found my voice in this situation using, i bet you think this dance is about you, to help myself cope. Playing "Anger" in the piece is a way for me to indirectly unleash MY anger about the situation.
Even if you don't have something happening to you at the moment, this show may give you clarity about a past event that is unresolved or that has shaped or unraveled you. Don't be so sure that you've conquered all the stages of healing. Any of the characters visualized in the show, like Anger, may be lurking under the surface.
I encourage you to use this show to heal.
See Tony perform as, Anger, in
i bet you think this dance is about you
Friday & Saturday, 8pm
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Tony Springs is performing as CDE Ensemble member for his fourth year. He currently works with the Devonshire Cultural Centers' "Devonshire Playhouse," choreographing musical productions. Tony is also the Artistic Director of the Devonshire Dance Ensemble.