I have been trying to find the best way to start writing for the blog. I wanted something striking and inventive, a grand opening for a grand conclusion of my experience with SDT...but I am lacking in ideas. This is why I would like to start sharing these words with you, as Milan Kundera wrote: Her arm rose within bewitching ease [â€Ś] The essence of her charm, independent of time, revealed itself for a second in the simplest gesture and dazzled me, I was strongly moved. How was it possible that in a single fraction of a second she discovered a motion of the arm and body so perfect and polished that it resembled a finished work of art? At the moment when she suddenly needed to say something important and had no words for it, that gesture came to life and said on her behalf what herself was unable to say.
There are so many things I would want to say, so many beings I would want to be, but in life it's not always so easy to do so. Sometimes we don't have the words, sometimes we lack in courage, some other times there are simply too many things we'd like to communicate and words cannot just express what hides behind their literal meanings. Gestures and movements have a life on their own, and we as dancers have the privilege to use them as our tools of expression. It is true when we say that â€œdance speaks before and beyond wordsâ€?, opening a way into feelings and emotions for both dancers and audience. This is what has mainly inspired me during my apprenticeship with Scottish Dance Theatre. The Company shares a common vision which values dance as an important mean of transmission, able to deliver relevant messages, to question and challenge our thoughts and expectations, to impress and to emote, with honesty and integrity. Being part of a repertoire company like SDT means that versatility is a fundamental skill you should possess. It makes us, as dancers constantly change to different sides of ourselves, rolling from one being, or state, to another in order to fulfil every role we have to play in life. There is so much commitment, passion and care in the works SDT produces that it is impossible not to be completely captured by it, from rehearsal to performance time. The way the work is approached made me realise what it means to be a professional dancer. There is a certain discipline we gain as students that we need to keep, together with the alertness, readiness, the technique and the skills required to be as versatile as we can; but more importantly we need to gradually grow the artists inside us, by constantly feeding our curiosity and artistic interests, layering and enriching ourselves with contents and weight. Every dancer in SDT is unique, and I am not referring just to their way of moving. Beyond their exceptional technical skills and movement abilities, they are real artists, they are experienced, intelligent and creative, thinking minds.
There are no meaningless dances, but no pretentious meanings to find. SDTâ€™s work deals with reality, with concrete life experiences everyone can relate to. They don't try to teach the audience a lesson, but at the same time they never entertain just for the sake of it. This is why I love watching the company perform, because it's thought provoking and it makes people react, have an opinion, discuss and enjoy the feeling of it. I find it so hard nowadays to be inspired by dance that is just throwing nice shapes and lines into the space for no apparent reasons but to show how it looks. With SDT something in me has changed, the way I live dance and art, what I am searching and looking for. SDT gave me a glimpse of what dance can mean, and I am now determined to carry on finding other glimpses of inspiring works, beyond forms and aesthetics. I owe Scottish Dance Theatre for their sensibility towards dance and for taking me with them through this journey of discovery. I definitely recognise how valid and useful my experience has been, as it is gradually shaping me as a dancer, as a person, but most of all as an artist. Special thanks to Janet, Sally, James, Leila, SDT Dancers, Emma & Amy, Caroline, Amanda C&B, Helen, Katie, Vicky and Dawn for a wonderful time! Marta Masiero â€“ SDT Apprentice 2011/12