When I first moved out to the Pacific Northwest, all I noticed was the mountains. It immediately changed my psyche. I told my friends I noticed my orientational metaphor expanding from the habitual horizontal nature of the plains to a more whole, three-dimensional awareness of what was also above and below. I felt reinvgorated to do something, take action – to become acquainted with this new place and new people. In that spirit, Mountains Have Feelings Too is a vulnerable act (though all dances are, but maybe this one slightly more so), representing a need to connect, in a shared space, in real time.
How do we communicate experiences that are ineffable, intrinsic, private, and consciously recognized? This is the stuff of dreams, but also the reality of dancers. In the body, how do we convey emotional, physical, and metaphorical weight? Beyond formal compositional concerns of weight (affecting the body in time and space), I was also drawn to the emotional component of physicalizing weight, viewed as a practice in empathy. Whether we’re in the studio or talking to a friend in a cafe, we may consciously or not recognize the expression of weight in ourselves and in others, and find corresponding ways to react, respond, and engage. When we acknowledge weight through sensation in our own body and witness its manifestation and transformation, we practice empathy. For a moment, we are privileged to possibilities outside ourselves.