“A stranger is just a friend you haven't met.”
- Roy E. Stolworthy
When I first moved to Sheffield, UK in 2014 I discovered that banter with strangers at bus stops is quite different than back home. The amount of people I freaked out by sharing my name after a couple minutes of friendly chatter could easily be counted on all ten fingers.
It wasn’t until my lovely and laughing Yorkshire lass roommate explained to me that even if I’ve had a nice chat with someone I didn’t know, leading with my true identity and asking outright personal information (like what is their occupation) was considered invasive, a bit freaky and perhaps even rude. I began to understand why I’d been getting such strange looks.
After a few practice sessions I developed skills in the culturally preferred and safe bus stop banter topics - the weather, the weather, and occasionally bad service. I now love a rainy chat. But thankfully when living in Sweden for the third time I was still clueless to Yorkshire rule.
Upon seeing a man with a cowboy hat and what looked like a music speaker on wheels (turned out to be photography equipment) I walked straight up to him and said “Hi I’m grace, do you speak English?”
We exchanged numbers and set a dance photoshoot up for that very week. His assistant was studying film at university and got hold of a nice camera. In the next couple months we shot three music videos. This is one of them x.
SONG "In Writing" by GK
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
When souls meet through the language of dance moments of blissful understanding can unfold.
Kahlil and I hadn’t seen each other in nearly 10yrs. Having never been to Berlin before I was grateful to connect with a familiar face. He showed graciousness and shared his home, allowing me to explore the city over a few days before heading back to the north of the country where I’d been staying.
Many of us dancers can’t help it, the opportunity to engage in a physical conversation with each other is like returning home. I grabbed the chance to “dialogue” on our walk in the park. We created this improvography (a concept with mostly improvised movements). We danced in silence that day - to the beat of our hearts.
Improvising with another requires a great deal of deep listening, a willingness to sense the subtleties and respond in kind. For me when that happens a soothing sense that all is well floods my brain. It’s like the gentlest of hugs. Dance will always be my mother tongue.
Song: "Holy One" by GK