Crimson Coast Dance

June 4, 2021: MY DANCE OF THE IN-BETWEEN by Geneviève Johnson

(video stills from Genevieve’s 2 films below)

Recovery as In-between State

I am in the “in-between” of recovery:
I cannot dance how I used to dance,
I am not allowed to perform all range of movement yet. 
But there is the promise that I will be able to move as before… almost.

How much as before?
Nobody knows.

Therefore, I decided for today
to dance this in-between and film the sequences that arise

I started by connecting with my right hip: my place of impossibility.
My mind wanted to dive into my inner critic
but I worked at letting it go.
As I danced longer, a choreography of the hands built up:
as if unlocking the space within my hip through hand gestures.

I explored my hip joint as a mouth breathing,
fluidly oscillating in-between

  • opening and closing 
  • space and no space 
  • front and back 
  • in and out 
  • flexion and extension…

Implant as Connector

When I look at my new hip X-ray
I don’t see myself.
The prosthesis is filling an empty space in me:
it looks as if it is outside of me…

A part of myself was removed:
instead there is a gap, a void of me within me,
that needs to be filled; two points within that need to be connected together with something from the outside.

Otherness is now a concrete reality inside me.

(left: seaweed on a rock by Genevieve Johnson – right: Genevieve’s hip X-ray from VIHA)

A new process, an in-between encounter is happening.
My organic body and this new artificial body are getting acquainted.
I am building cells around and within this external part in order to encompass it as myself. (Like barnicles or, in the picture above, seaweed growing on a rock…)

The artificial and the organic are blending into each other, becoming something “métissé”, plural, intertwined, interweaved…

I am bodily embracing otherness within myself, as myself…

External Object Representing Inner Transition

As my exploration unfolded,
I felt the need to give my artificial prosthesis
a concrete presence outside of me.

My love of working with objects drew me towards a knitted headpiece
that my mom and I created but never used.

The object’s presence – because of its mixity, shape and texture – became a representation of my healing hip capsule
(a membrane wrapping the hip joint that was cut open for surgery)
and the branches attached to the headpiece became the arthritis bone spurs leaving my body.

(left: knitted head piece as my capsule – right: drawing of hip capsule from Wikipedia)

Holding in my hands a representation of what is now inside my body
helped me making peace with it
and welcoming the unknown by integrating

  • the void,
  • the unfamiliar,
  • the otherness

as part of my renewed self.

Dance Your In-Between(s)

Connect to a place of “impossibility” in your body.
A place where you sense restriction or fear or pain…
Move from there: a micro slow dance.
Let it grow…
Create a concrete outer object, representing this place.
Move with it…

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