Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing my dear friend Andrea Hodos do her thing. She has a dance midrash company called Moving Torah, and she’s been the artist-in-residence at Hebrew Union College (HUC) this past fall. Last night, she and her students performed a work called “On Dry Ground” that turned out to be an extended meditation on the Red Sea story (Exodus 14-15, wherein the Egyptians are chasing the Israelites, they get to the Red Sea, and have to figure out what happens next), and on moving through fear, how faith and fear work together, what Divine Providence is about. Several famous rabbinic midrashim were woven into the piece, but so were lots of juicy questions and musings on the texts and on what it might have meant to be the Israelites at that particular moment, and what that might tell us about our own relationships to God, trust, leadership, and so forth. It was really yummy.
Then, at the end, she asked a few people to offer their own stories of being at the proverbial water’s edge, and Andrea translated the story into movement, which was really cool. I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the creative processes inherent in dance, and it was very neat to get to have a glimpse into that. I walked out of there energized in a way that I am not nearly enough these days.
All of you reading this, go hire Andrea! She is dazzlingly gifted at taking things we’re used to seeing and spinning them on their head, literally.