Thursday, 14 May 2015

restless

photo by Jo Duck


My body and mind are restless.

The restlessness is only at ease when I’m on the edge; of where I’m comfortable and satisfied, of what I thought I knew – ah, discovery! The edge and beyond - full of boundless possibility.

I’ve been dancing in The Australian Ballet, my original nest, for just over 12 years. Time, time … the mean, surreptitious sidling past of that clock. At this stage of my career, the momentum of continual growth and stimulation is crucial to thrive, therefore imperative in my fulfilment and happiness. Dancing the coveted role of Giselle on my hometown stage at the Sydney Opera House - where my ballet dreams began all those years ago - in front of my family, husband, both ballet teachers and friends, felt like an ideal time to end this chapter. For me, good things come in pairs - my first immersion as Odette in the Swan Lake of Graeme Murphy’s imagining, also in Sydney, was earlier this year. I had been waiting 11 years to dance that role. Encouraged by the promise of the glorious reward of delayed gratification, I had no idea that both dances would be quite so overwhelmingly magical.

So here I was, invigorated by two treasured experiences and a period of immense growth. Could it get any better than this? Yes, I knew it could. Could it get better for me here, at The Australian Ballet? I felt in my heart that it may not; that I valued different things in the art form. I asked for answers to find that out for sure, and thus transpired the final catalyst for my departure.

My heart’s compass is inextricably attuned to my restless body and mind. Feeling comfortable in creative work breeds homogeneity and complacency, and without enough outlet to incite the bold push away from that, is in danger of warping into a poisonous manifestation of negativity. And so, the survival mechanism kicks in, and we go through the motions - unquestioning cogs. Existing, not living. A sensitive person can fight that looming force only so much. My heart, open upwards, tells me that it is time to dare. Life in art is propelled by questioning, not safety.


Much to treasure, much gained, much yet to learn.