"You live with the threat, you tell me you live with the threat of my extinction. Leonard, I live with it too."
--Virginia Woolf, The Hours
It was Virginia Woolf's deathday on the 28th, so I've had her on the brain. I love Nicole Kidman's portrayal of her in The Hours.
"You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will, I know."
--Virginia Woolf's suicide letter to her husband Leonard
The theme to The Hours, by Philip Glass, was the music for my audition solo during the great Dance BFA search. Todd choreographed it. I feel like I was such a different person then. I've listened to the song a few times this week, but haven't been able to get through it without crying and feeling kinesthetic memories of the movement. I remember Todd had me do some writing about the solo at the time, here's a bit of it:
Todd told me that the piece is all about transitions. And obviously, seeing as I'm going through quite a transition of sorts right now, I relate a lot to that theme. But furthermore, this piece to me is not only about the transition, but also about all the fear, nerves, apprehension and doubt that inevitably comes with taking a big step. I start the piece out in a wide stance with my wrists resting on top of my ribcage and I do these really small, sharp ticking movements that get bigger and bigger until I shoot forward....This pretty much sums me up, both as a person and as a dancer. I feel completely paralyzed by fear most of the time, and I often have to literally push myself into doing things that scare the bejesus out of me. And even though I'm pushing myself, I still take very small steps before jumping in completely.
I also relate a lot to the song within it's original context. It's the main theme from the movie The Hours. The plot revolves around three women in three different time periods who are all seemingly stuck in places that they don't want to be in. But at the same time, they can't really change anything about their lives without sending their entire world (as well as the lives of their friends and family) into upheaval. Despite this, each woman ends up making that pivotal change. It may have been the completely wrong change to make, or in Clarissa's case, the change came without her consent. But regardless of the circumstances, all three women go through a significant and profound transition over the course of the film.