In 1989 I left Louisville, Kentucky for college. Four and a half hours north, wandering Middle Path, I stumbled upon the hillside sanctuary of Kenyon College's dance studio. There, emboldened by the kindness and passion of dancer | professor | choreographer Maggie Patton, I observed the best and studied from the best. Almost by accident, I discovered an essential passion within me.
At that time, central Ohio was (and probably still is) a center of the dance world. Every show we saw was world class. It was all we knew.
When I moved to New York City in 1994, I needed to find the familiar. I needed to get out of my taunting apartment, to resist the disorienting terror of this enormous place. The Joyce Theater, it's art deco sign reminding me of the Vogue back home, became a new hillside sanctuary. Pilobolus was the first show I saw there. And, that night might have been the first time I was able to really fill my lungs since moving to the city. My brain expelled the toxic fears, my imagination was on fire.
It is not original to say this city invites the best to claw and grapple with every new obstacle. It is here that some triumph, many struggle, and all fail (some better than others). We find transformation in unexpected places. The Joyce reminds me that herein lies the extraordinary.
Warmest thanks to my friends at LaPlaca Cohen and the Joyce Theater for allowing me to wander and share a quiet moment in this essential temple | foundation | theater | school. The Joyce is dance, and for 150,00 audience members each year, it is a warm, intimate, welcoming invitation to witness greatness.