Ten years of dancemaking has created quite an accumulation of stuff. There are two lime green chairs, a couple of lamps, rolls of marley, rolls of astro turf, nearly 100 glass jars, nearly that many leotards of various colors, a handful of tuxedos, brown pants, black pants, blue pants, dresses, sweaters, sports bras and bike shorts galore, a bag full of sparkly deely boppers, a giant red curtain, white tutus and colored tutus, a beed curtain, Christmas lights, extension chords, and the list goes on.
Each item is a dance that I made, or a dance that I almost made, or a dance that I wanted to make. Each piece reminds me of a theater or of a particular dancer, her initials usually inscribed on the inside tag. The initialed tags tell a story of dancers that came and went, of dancers who married and changed initials. It’s a closet full of my most cherished memories. But the thing is, it’s not a closet at all.
Apartment living does not leave much room for all of the Leopold Group paraphernalia, so my father has graciously housed all of it in his factory for years. He makes titanium coils and racks and I make dances; the tools of our respective trades live side-by-side – tutus and laser cutters, lathes and leotards. The Leopold Group costume closet is actually a titanium fabrications factory.
As I was rooting through the boxes today, pulling items for our show this weekend, I was fantasizing about space. I think all dancemakers fantasize about space – affordable and available rehearsal space, empty store fronts as dream dance studios, and well, storage space. But I came to the conclusion that I like where my stuff lives. I like the proximity of lycra to aluminum. I like the idea that my dad is a maker of things and so am I. I like that our tools share a room – tutus and laser cutters co-habitating.