SHORE: An Insider and Indigenous Perspective | Essay by Jack Gray

This week Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance’s SHORE (MAP 2013) is in Dᶻidᶻelaľic̆/Dkhw’Duw’Absh (Seattle). Throughout the sharing of this work, Johnson has collected writings from artists and makers who share connections with her and her work. Read on for an excerpt from Jack Gray’s SHORE: Essay, one in a series of many, and connect with SHORE: Performance from 10/15-10/17 and with SHORE: Feast on 10/18. Tickets and more information are available here.

SHORE EJ

From Emily: Jack Gray. I am thankful we have shared the east and the west, the north and the south. I am thankful we are just beginning our work together. Jack was in SHORE in Lenapehoking in April, and then he wrote this:

SHORE NYC – an insider and indigenous perspective by Jack Gray

I couldn’t help myself from orienting everything I experienced throughout the SHORE life I lived back to its innate indigeneity. It was almost like this marvelous secret. This piece was a hall of ghosts. These ghosts gathered in places around us. They came out at twilight, in the streets, cloaked amongst everyday pedestrians. They occupied a different sense of time, they were much slower, more present, less preoccupied. They witnessed everything. Every night when it was my turn to leave the nest, I would walk into the dream and catch my step, from fast to slow. I would always pass by people unaware of the performance/ceremony and realize there was a shift in zone. These people thought we were crazy, or religious, or odd. I always savored the moment of being one of them, and then transitioning into the other side. I felt like presence made present, made people feel uncomfortable. Singing life, breathing to the leafless trees, the giant painted figure on the wall of the school, to the clouds, this opening moment was precious.

Wandering from the children playground to the venue at New York Live Arts, past the sex shop, the rainbow rising, the three ducks and not the Joyce, an imperceptible thread was being woven through the city. One night, I concentrated my thoughts on following the pathway of Minetta Creek. It was hard being a ghost without the ability to walk through people, theres so much making way in this city. In my silence, I often noticed alot of action at one particular restaurant. From people standing outside smoking, to people with dogs. For some strange reason I always felt underdressed at the same spot every night.

Read the full essay here. Tickets and more information on SHORE in Dᶻidᶻelaľic̆/Dkhw’Duw’Absh (Seattle) are available here.

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