With the amazing and glamorous opportunity to do a dance show in Greece, I took the chance to visit a few other places. Here are some pictures from the trip:
Yes, it took a LONG time to get my passport (over 14 weeks!). By the time I got there, our company, Pearson Widrig Dance Theater, was already rehearsing at school gymnasium in Elefsina, a small industrial town about 30 minutes west of Athens on the coast of the Mediterranean. In order to fight off the jet lag, I jumped right into rehearsal after arriving. Then after, the sea.
We rehearsed for one week, in up to 90+ degree heat (Sweaty!) and each day after rehearsal we went for costume fittings, or to the beach to cool off. On our free day, I went into Athens to see the Acropolis, which it turns out is absolutely huge. (I had no idea)
On week 2, we got the stage set up for our show. The stage was built at a graveyard for abandoned ships called Vlycha (pronounced VLEE–HAH). These wrecks were in all directions and in all states of disintegration, creating a industrial and rusty environment for dance. Part of the performance took place on little motorboats which threaded the waters between these giant metal carcasses. The show went fabulously.
A day after the show, I flew to Berlin. I began my tour of the messy overlapping histories there. In the Tiergarten, Olympiastadion, and remaining Berlin Wall, the flows of communism, fascism, and capitalism manifest in different architectural styles, artworks, and cultural attitudes.
Going with a friend was helpful to process the Holocaust Memorial(s) and the Jewish Museum. This museum is an expert blend of accessible education, history, theology, and contemporary Jewish artwork. The memorials are powerful, disorienting and haunting.
As a Jew by blood and a gay man by good fortune, I was grateful for the efforts to keep these messy histories at the forefront of German culture. I wish I could say the same for my home country; the memorials take on a troubling and personal tone amid the US government's ongoing civil rights rollbacks...
On the fun side, Berlin is also known for its nightlife. So before I left, I went to the world's most (in)famous nightclub, Berghain, inside of a giant abandoned power plant. Luckily, a friend of mine from DC, DJ Baronhawk Poitier, just happened to be playing there at 8am on Sunday. So I got up early, skipped out on church, and went to party. No pictures were allowed, so your imagination will have to do.
As a final stop on my tour, I met my boyfriend Edward in London for his birthday. Of course, we began with the tourist things...
Then we took plans into our own hands and went to a few spots of interest including "God's Own Junkyard" a giant warehouse for neon signs, letters and illuminated artwork...
...and "Sketch" a restaurant with each room imagined by a different designer...
...and "The Glory" a tiny gay club with one of the best drag shows I have ever seen.
Happy birthday Ed!
Thank you all, students and friends, for your support as I was in and out this summer, I'm very glad to be back home now and reintegrating into both Feldenkrais Method and dance-making. I wasn't able to do everything in Europe but I think I did quite a few things I have wanted to for a while and that should keep me satisfied for a few days at least. However, I'm already thinking about next summer, will you come along then?