A question has been poking around in my brain the last few weeks as I have seen changes about the dance community in SL, dancers switching venues, feelings hurt, frustration, confusion….it’s not the first time it has happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last…but art and dance are so very subjective, it can often be hard to know where to draw a line with performance or how others may interpret a piece or the intention of a piece or dance.
There is more than one reason that I enjoy SL. I love the creative outlet. I love to dance and move like I could when I was younger. I love the shoes. I really, really love the shoes :). I also love the diversity and openess that being an avatar allows. I am not personally in SL to dabble in the er….sexier parts of it. I’m not all that comfortable with running myself around nekkid, but I’ve been nekkid in a few of my dances. I won’t take stuff off unless it enhances the story…but again, that’s my preference and my own set of moral boundaries.
That having been said….I have friends from just about every possible group of folks that exist within the walls of SL, BDSM, Gor, Furries, LGBT, gender-fluid….married, not married, partnered, not partnered, blue, republican, democratic, socialist and they are all my friends because we mutually respect each other despite our differences.
Almost all of these people perform in SL either with written word, spoken word, dance or visual arts. They all push boundaries to some extent, some more than others *grins*. I may not always be comfortable with where they are going, but I am supportive. I’m terrified even typing this blog that I’m going to alienate half my friends.
I think most misunderstandings happen because venue owners have a vision and not every dance or dancer may fit that vision. I know that I do sometimes question if I should do a certain extremely funny set because everyone else is doing big, flashy, mover, fader, extravaganzas. Or maybe I’m going to depress the living daylights out of the entire crowd. Mostly, I just go ahead and do it and hope for the best and pray that I don’t get sacked.
I don’t know…..perhaps I’m just rambling, but no one has to go to a show that they don’t feel fits their particular vision of art. I hope if I do a dance at one of the venues that I dance at that the owner feels is sub par or outside the lines that they would IM me and express their concerns so that we can work toward a mutual solution. When you are behind a keyboard, it’s all too easy to forget the person behind the other keyboard.
We all love dance and art. It’s evident in the time and effort that you see in every set that makes its way to a stage. It’s evident in the help that we give each other, sitting on movers, helping to tweak backdrops….going out shopping for outfits when you find a great new store or set shop. Without this diverse community, dance would be boring…expectations would be vanilla….and our imaginations wouldn’t be stretched. I think there is room for all of us…be it at our own venues or others to do our best and create things that we are proud of.
Not everyone is right for every venue, nor is every venue right for everyone, but we can still support and work to understand the motivation of others and respect their right to perform their art. We can also learn new things when we experience new things, even if those things make us uncomfortable. It’s an opportunity for all of us to look at all types of dance and visual art and find something valuable in all of it. If you aren’t sure what a certain performer is trying to do with what you are watching…ask them…you may just be surprised at the answer and make a wonderful friend in the process 🙂