I imagine a city where we rest in the moonlight and rise on the wings of dawn to meet the day with a sense of purpose, and move about and in and through our work together.
I imagine a city where the old is always made new, where treasures are discovered in the dust of destruction.
I imagine a city with joy so profound that every soul is aflame, lighting up homes and schools, synagogues and mosques and churches all filled with people working together, each with a sense of Divine purpose. Where the balancing acts of men and women caring for children, for elders, for employees and employers, for neighbors and strangers are all in step with artists and teachers and pastors and rabbis, guiding and growing, inspiring, and moving us beyond our limitations, instilling hope and pushing us forward so that the movement within is vibrant within us all…
I think about these things as I look back over my life and what it has meant for me to be an artist, a dancer finding my legs in my work, in my home, in my church, in the studio, on stage, and within an organization that exists to enhance the joy of the community.
I think about what it has meant to be a performing artist throughout my life and the sense of responsibility that is there to share what has helped me move through and forward. Because where art has existed, where creativity has come alive, new life has always emerged from my dust, and my soul has been fed and renewed. And I have been able to connect to others.
Everyone deserves to experience, not only as an observer of (the dance) but to be a part of (the dance) the arts. Everyone deserves the chance to “dance”, so it is core to our mission to have our performing artists integrated into our studio classes and camps and workshops. It is core to our mission to have these artists integrated into the work that extends beyond the stage and studio in order to connect to those who can’t come to us.
All through these years of doing what we can with what we have, where we are*, the work has grown, not only in size but its impact on those we exist to serve. See, I believe we all know deep within ourselves the great need for the arts. For the unsettling and waking up of what has gone to sleep. We are all created to create. Today’s technology throws water on our inspiration to build meaningful relationships and snuffs out attention span, while our creative spirits are yearning to go to a quiet place, the place where we can create new life within ourselves, and within others.
Time. Space. Peace. Patience. These things don’t exist unless we make them a priority in our own lives and in the lives of others. It begins here.
It begins with the creative spirit within each of us. It begins with a willingness to go within. We all need our manna for a day. We all need inspiration.
We all need purpose. We all need grace and we all have a dance within us that is longing to move in new ways, to exercise our strengths, and move beyond our weaknesses.
The responsibility is here within each of us to inspire, ignite, and fuel a child, an aging parent, a neighbor, a stranger…
A Action. Movement. The dance within is the heart’s stirring and swirling of new life, the movement within and through and out into the lives of others.
R Responsibility. Guiding and supporting those around us through this rehearsal of life on earth because we stumble, we fall. We break. We are all broken. Even the most exquisite performance on earth can’t masquerade this truth.
T Truth. We are nothing on our own but an isolated ego craving love and acknowledgement and meaning.
We are nothing without love.
We are lost without purpose.
We are resentful and angry and afraid without grace.
I Invisible. We become invisible so that the Unseen Beauty of this Dance within us may become visible in the world.
S Servant. Anyone who desires to be in the limelight must first be last of all and servant to all.*
T Trust. We are not alone and like Daniel in the furnace, we move through and rise above the flames and arrows coming at us and against us.
Since 1992 Danceworks has been led by performing artists. From Polly Morris and Mary Newton to me, to the next, the ability to embody our mission is our core strength: to enhance the joy in other’s lives, to rise above failure, always with a sense of responsibility to guide and support and ignite the fire within, the dance within, others.
Will you be a part of Danceworks continued movement within the lives of those in our community and beyond? It’s a new season, a time for change and we will be celebrating with seven new dancers and seven new board members on November 7th at 7:00 PM. How more perfect can it get than that?
Revealing the Eclectic Body
Thursday, November 7, 2019 // 7:00pm-9:00pm
at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel
Eat, drink, and experience for the first time Danceworks Performance MKE in an evening of dance, music and mingling!
This dynamic ensemble of performing artists will come together for a unique event at Saint Kate. The exquisite new Arts Hotel sets the stage for an evening of live music, beauty, and fresh perspective.
See old friends and make news ones – all while getting an exclusive peek at the 2019-20 Danceworks Performance MKE Season!
$50 per person includes wine/beer and light hors d’oeuvres
*Please RSVP by October 31, 2019*
May the dance within you continue on…and move on…and on…
Cast of Revealing the Eclectic Body includes:
Elisabeth O’Keefe Roskopf*
*(Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mark 9:35)
Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.