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