Friday, May 22, 2009

Ksenia Rushnikova

Ksenia tells us that she loves dancing. However she realized lately that she is not able to dance on her own, that she always needs someone to demonstrate; that she has no faith in her own capacity. This is something she would like to work with: create a project to free herself and to find out weather she has any talent, courage and creativity in herself. She continues that she sometimes catches herself dancing, but only when she is unaware while waiting for a bus or walking and listening to music with headphones. In such moments she catches herself dancing a bit. But, certainly, in the very moment, she catches herself, she stops! She now wants to do a project, which challenges her to overcome this block; a project which makes her dance and dance in the streets no matter wheter people are watching or not. Just to be free to express herself and to find her own inner voice.

In the group we discuss the different possibilities and she suggests a project in which she would walk along the streets normally and then start observing people, asn as if not even thinking about it, start copying their movements. She would do this for a while until the people being copied would realize and look at her. In that very moment she would change and elaborate her movements to a free associated dance. We are all very interested in this idea and I am really impressed about her courage! When I ask her what she would be wearing for such a performance, she adds:” Her dance clothes, of course!”

The next day is preparation day. Everyone comes in with materials and ready to construct their piece or solidify their idea. Also Ksenia comes in with a big plastic bag and I am really very curious! When I get to her, however, she tells me that she was so wonderfully inspired by my talk that she felt like a completely different person. In fact she heard a completely new voice coming from within herself! However, today, the voice is gone, completely! She says that she realizes that she likes to talk about ideas but is not the type that likes to execute. She is determined to drop the whole idea and not do any kind of project! Masha and I are very shocked! I tell her that I had been very impressed when she first came up with the idea and that I had thought that even I would have a very hard time doing something like that. I tell her that there are many ways we can change the project to make it feel less threatening without losing the message. She is completely set with her mind. She does not want to do it anymore. I tell her that she does not need to prove anything to me or anyone else, but that I want her to be very sure, if she really wants to drop it, that this is really the best decision for her, that I would feel very bad if she had any regrets later or if she would feel bad about herself. She doesn’t want to change her mind, but doesn’t get up either. So I ask her:” What are you still sitting here? I am here to work! If you don’t want to work with me and are set with your mind, also our conversation is over and you should get up now and make space for the students who want to do their project.” This sounds very harsh, I know. But it was the only thing that made sense in that moment and I know, she understands.

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