Friday, September 16, 2011

Ed Saying Hello?

Wild Space Dance Company opened its 25th anniversary season Thursday with "In the Space Between," and I was lucky to join the cast. Before we went on, dancer Hannah Marquardt told us she had stumbled that day on a photo she didn't know she had. The picture? None other than the appropriately captioned, "New Age My Ass," taken by Wild Space collaborating artist Tom Bamberger (left).

That, of course, is Ed, sprawled across the table of some unsuspecting mall patrons. If any photo could capture Buddy Burgess, this is it: He's clearly reveling in the confusion and delight he's causing.

He made us smile, too. We all agreed this was Ed saying hello. Congratulations. Enjoy yourselves tonight.

And I was dense enough to worry almost continuously about the performance, my preparedness, the audience's judgments, my body's aches and pains... Much of the evening, I forgot to enjoy myself.

Ed always pushed us hard and taught us to strive for excellence. But I think Ed was telling us that true excellence is reached in that moment when you let go of yourself to, ironically, find yourself--fully enjoying the present.

How else can you be, except enjoying yourself, when you decide to show up in a moment in which you happen to be dancing? Ed's spirit's as alive as ever, and even though he no longer has his body, we've still got ours. Every time we move, we need to make it count. Thanks for the reminder, Ed.

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