From HUMAN to Femme
Just over a year ago, one would have found the ladies of Intrepidus deep in emotional searching, covered in scraps of costumes, full of nerves, but mostly--excited to make our debut. As a company, we felt that HUMAN was but a mere introductory sentence on the first page of a crisp new book.
Needless to say, a year ago my stomach was in my throat. Through the five and a half months leading up to HUMAN I experienced a lot of stress, excitement, nervousness, love, support, and fear. If I’m being honest, fear mostly ruled my mind and creative process through those months. In some ways it was a hard time, but more than anything--a celebratory moment. Somehow in five and a half months we had become not just a company--but a family, created material that felt genuine and real, and we were finally going to share it with the world (or at least Seattle.) After a weekend of successful shows, that celebratory feeling was what propelled us forward into our second season.
Upon entering our second season, we had no idea what it would look like. We started our summer off by exploring new dancers, experimenting with new choreography, and simply taking class together. It was a leisurely time spent dancing with no specific end goal in mind. We closed our summer session with a finalized company of stellar females, and a few weeks later launched the official start of our season with a May show on the distant horizon.
My primary goal for the second season was to spend a full year exploring one piece. I was at a point as a choreographer that I felt I was just creating content, and I wanted to create and explore. While spending a year with one piece would be a long time for the company to not produce any new work, I knew I needed the chance to really sit with a piece--to allow myself time to adjust and make changes.
In the music industry, a sophomore album is in many ways harder than a premiere album. Your first album introduces who you are, gives people a taste of what you want to say, and is exciting--because it's new! Your sophomore album, however, is when people decide if they want to continue to listen. Where an audience is looking for consistency in your artistic statement, looking for the one characteristic or quality that will set you apart from everything else that is “out there.” That sophomore album carries a lot of pressure, and this last year has been our sophomore album; the exploration of what we truly want to say.
The last ten months have contained hard work, some redirection, and a quite a few lessons learned. After HUMAN closed, I felt we could take on the world--and we made plans to do just that! We quickly hit the ground running on post-performance/afterglow fumes last April, and soon realized we mayyyy have to reign some things in a bit. As I navigated myself through the season, I continued learning more not only about how to run a dance company, but also how to hold a day job, and keep a sane home life.
As an artistic director--when does one prioritize administrative duties versus creative ones? When is it time to create, and when is it time to put your nose to the grind and conjure up a blog post for your very antsy executive director? How do you balance respecting the time of the incredible artists you are working with--while also respecting the time and relationships you have with all the non-dancers in your life? I have to be honest when I say that in some ways, this season has been a tough one; and I have experienced some dark and profound moments where I felt that I was not fit to be an artistic director at all. However, as we often find with the hardest of times--they can produce some of the greatest results. I have learned the ongoing lesson that I cannot do everything--and that’s where teams and checklists can help carry you through. After all, at the end of the day--we are only human!
This season (much like last) brought with it the opportunity to work alongside dancers who bring an unparalleled level of openness and vulnerability to rehearsals. While we spent many a rehearsal laughing, we also spent rehearsals exploring emotionally--refining what we are trying to communicate down to every moment. While I have learned this season that I am really great at making mistakes, the ladies I work with are abundantly supportive, loving, forgiving, and honest. Because of this, I have also learned how to ask for forgiveness, not only from the people around me--but from myself.
Femme has been a deep-seated examination of the many sides of Holly Logan. Through the process of HUMAN I feel that my artistic compass was mostly influenced by fear: fear of judgement, fear of rejection, but most of all--fear that I would end up hating what I was putting on stage. I’m proud to say that this season, I have worked tirelessly to put those fears aside, and bring an honest and genuine spirit to my creative process and the rehearsal space. We are forced as artists through these challenges to be true to who we are--as oftentimes, there is not time for anything else. That raw, unedited truth is what we hope to bring to the stage at Velocity in a mere 2 weeks.
Intrepidus has been fortunate enough to spend the last year performing, rehearsing, planning, creating, laughing, learning, and growing. We have as creators and artists learned to embrace our shortcomings and lean on the strength of each other. From HUMAN to Femme we have come across many hurdles--mostly within ourselves--but have continued to press forward with enthusiasm to our May performances. A year ago we were sharing our inaugural narratives, and in 2 weeks we invite you to come join us again for different stories, returning and new dancers, and a company trained on bringing honesty and passion to the stage.