CRISTINA TADEO

Familiar spaces: home spaces, my movement practice, the social space held between here and someone I love—that space. When I arrive here, sometimes I expect something to happen, or I expect to feel something, know, or learn something. I’ve been thinking so much about familiarity and unfamiliarity.

Arriving in, passing through a space unknown, there is a recognition of chasing an unfamiliarity and awe.

When a space becomes familiar, there is a shift. Expectations are formed and resurface. In some ways, the magic is lost.

Standing at the railyards reminds me so much of Chicago. The industrial corridor flanked by the river and Cortland Ave. bridge has warehouses with sky-high hundred year old glass window panes. When I left that city, I couldn’t wait to get out. After eleven years, the magic it once held for me was lost. I have wanted to connect more to Albuquerque and understand where I am. Not just spatially, geographically, but culturally, artistically, spiritually. Spending all this time with our LAAW cohort has begun to fill some of these gaps, but I know it will take much more time.

I have had a difficult time connecting to my new home enough to understand where my artistic work fits and how it will evolve due to our current social and economic circumstances (in the world, and in the dance field which still feels like my primary place). I’ve turned to my practice as a familiar space, but sometimes expectations interfere; comparisons to previous observations here, and former versions of self. There are former bodies, experiences, and understandings. My distance from my own work, and the stress of trying to maintain a home studio practice in the same space I live, work, sleep, and cook in has been an enormous challenge. Mostly, I am immensely emotionally exhausted.

I am sitting near the river at Valle de Oro and I found this metal folding chair in the tall grass. Everything is dry and crispy and the light is warm and golden. The dappled sun shadows are dancing through the grass and the breeze is quite strong. This is another familiar unfamiliar space. This feels like home—not Chicago home, but where my parents live in southern WI.

I have been missing water for many months. We spent the morning with Richard Moore and this is the first day in nearly seven months that I’ve felt truly inspired. 

What are the possibilities for understanding and relating when there is constant change, evolving unfamiliarity, or even disintegration? 

Can we all just slow down for a moment, or a few?

Can we move about the world “successfully” with softness? ​Can slowing down be a radical act?​Now,​ ​every aspect of our current social and environmental unrest demands urgency. How / where / what is the balance?

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