For the past four months, with interruptions – the original performance and rehearsal venue was destroyed by Hurricane Lane – I have been collaborating with three extraordinary dancers to create a poetry and dance performance based on “Whale Fall.”
For me, this collaboration has been a transformative experience. Jenn Eng, Karen Masaki, and Colee Garr have taken my whale fall journey and made it into something new. Their unique visions and expressions of the world of whale fall are fierce and original and true.
Poetry and dance collaborations are rare. We may see dancers illustrating the words of a poet, in which case the poem is primary; and we may see poets writing to or about a choreographed dance, in which case the dance is primary. But collaborative co-creation is rare.
This experience has given me a deeper apprehension of my own work – or rather, of an imaginative realm that is no longer mine but ours. I am profoundly grateful for the gift.