Writings

My life as a dancer part 4


Before I can move any further with my story of dance, I need to talk about Guido. But Guido was and is so much more for me than what can be described in the mere context of dancing. He is my brother and my friend. He was important and instrumental as only a real Teacher can be be
My life as a dancer part 4
Guido Tuveri is a remarkable man. He is one of those rare individuals that does not only wear his heart on his sleeve, but has a heart that is oozing out from every pore of his delicate skin. He is honest, he is kind, he has been and probably can be a motherfucker, but he is all him, certainly not a saint but a real mensch.
Meeting him was a turning point in my life. I saw one of his performances and fell deeply in love with his expression, his pain seemed to resonate with mine.
We worked together. We lived together. We were lovers against all odds and we laughed, cried, and confided in one another. He was my arrow towards Igor and Yoga and he will continue to be my inspiration for as long as we both shall be. He was the first one that managed to penetrate my fearful but skilful facade and dig to my depths and secrets. And he loved me there. Oh, how he loved me there. Under his watchful eye, I took off my mask and revealed who was living inside of me because I kind of knew he was the same and we forged a deep connection. His ego fought and collided with mine and we hurt each other, but always with the understanding that our relationship was and is uncircumstantial and unconditionally based on trust and love. A friendship I carry with me always, in who I am, in how I see, in my striving to also come out of all closets I create.

Dear, sweet, wonderful friend, thank you for all the beauty, and for sharing. I love you.

During the first year in New york I lived in a run down, crummy sublet in the corner of Bleeker/ Macdougal in the West Village. I had several roomates that came and went. Some NYU students, Kenneth, my old BA classmate and dear friend who came to stay for a few months, Mathilda, my chocolate drinking, awesome party buddy who under that rough exterior had and has a very tender heart of gold. There were also hundreds of cockroaches and a whole clan of rats that lived in my walls and on the floor next to my bed. It was a 4 floor walk up and although I initially loved the constant noise from the busy street below, which enhanced the feeling of really living the bohemian dream, it was by no means an ideal living situation. I spent many sleepless nights in front of my American size TV that took up a large portion of the already tiny space. My parents who came to visit only once, went home with pneumonia (The windows were broken and during the winters it was freezing inside) and a sinking feeling that their little girl was living in misery. Of course their reference frame was the safe comfortable Sweden, where at that time even the lowest class citizen had a home way more luxurious than mine, and I know they were worried sick about me. By the time I met Guido, Jacky and Sita I had definitely had enough of my suffering artist nightmare so when they offered me to move in with them I immediately accepted.
I had been introduced to Guido by Charlotta, and when I saw his performance, 'La table de Maman' it was as if I knew why I had become a dancer. His performance touched a deep chord in me and I could barely move from my seat after it was over. I had to work with this guy. Guido's selection of dancers was not based on skill, experience or even ability. He picked his perfomers based on a totally different criteria. He liked the broken, the crazy and the outcasts. The one's with a pain in their soul so great it matched his own. Needless to say, I certainley fit that description and we immediately clicked. He had also left, given up his life, his beautiful fianceé and his budding career in Sardegna to start over in NY, with a clean slate a bigger playing field and out if his closet once and for all. The biggest reason he had left, was Jacky. One of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. Their love story was grandiose, complicated and contained all the drama befitting two french/latino gay artists living in New york. When I met them, they had been living together for many years, had their dance company: 'Sanza Nemo Collective', and were a very popular fixture in the downtown New york dance scene. I started working with them, Guido choreographed a duet for me and Charlotta, which quite ironically, given my later love for meditation, was called: 'I would like for you to be still'.
I was scared beyond my wits to not be good enough for the task, since I so admired them both, but somehow I was in and only a few months later we were all living together in a small 2 bedroom 5 floor walk up right below 110th street. This was before it became chic, the neighbourhood was rough, crack dealing and other illegal activity both in the streets and the buildings but it was very much alive with a predominantely latino vibe .
Jacky was a wonderful gentle soul, he took care of us all and cared lovingly and deeply. He is one of those blessed human beings that is just natural at being human. I hurt him deeply but he gracefully let me stay in his heart, always. We met later on as well, in the very different setting of the southern tip of Scandinavia, and we kept seeing each other evolve through time and shared so much joy, now that the more potent drama of NY was behind us. Despite our long time without hugging, He is still right here, deeply embedded in my heart.
Then there was beautiful Sita Mani, a deeply soulful human and artist who was perhaps the only one I could truly breathe freely and relax with, amongst all the NY drama that was going on in the apartment. We shared the same kind of pragmatic reasoning and dry humour that our cultures, despite their wide difference had installed in us, a wonderful woman who I grew to love deeply, She's still a dear friend and the Fairy Godmother of Iomi.

Those times in 973 Columbus avenue were so happy and have given me so many extraordinary experiences and memories. We all felt that we'd found a new family and in that first honey moon part of the friendship, we did everything together. We went from class to rehearsal to dinner and drinks, and then back home to rehearse some more, sometimes until the early morning hours, creating, laughing, meeting our fears and performance anxieties in that small living room. We lived in a glowing bubble of artistic exploration and experimentation and met our fears and highs with the same open curiosity that can only be felt when you feel love and loved.

Sanza Nemo was besides us four also Charlotta, the charismatic performer who with equal amount of pain and strength burned and still burns for her art and her love, another luminous soul who continues to inspire. My Firebird. Then there was Eleanor, straight shooting, gorgeous Korean/Californian Eleanor. Who besides being a dancer, had a career in something finance/computer related. She was sassy, clever and had such a big generous heart that was always open and always had space. One of those people where you can feel the strength of their love in the subtle gestures. And Mexican/Texan beauty Estela, who was a flawless, fierce dancer with a sweet, kind hearted intelligence and a gentle demeanor that had a calming influence in us all. There was wonderfully talented Eric, a dream of a dance partner with the heart of a big polar bear giant. He was also a part of my later years in that other life, on the other side of the ocean, and I truly loved to be thrown around, twisted and turned upside down by him and he later so graciously gave me the honour of participating in one of the most heartfelt duets I have ever performed. He and it still resonates fondly in my memory. And La Bella Letizia, who spoke without words, was already deeply compassionate at that time when I barely knew the meaning of the word. She was already then wise beyond her years. A sister.
Together we danced, dined, did ecstacy, dope and drama together. We felt so deeply for one another, and I think all of us, no, I know, all of us think back on that time with great fondness.

My adventures in NY went way beyond what happened in the 'family' and in the studio. I lived some interesting side paths that may be a good book one day, but it would require a lot more time from both me and you, and need a far wider space for elaboration.

I left NY for good 1999. By then I had gained much experience and also completely lost my hair, but I had gotten confirmed what I had always suspected, that life, when you jump out of your circumstance, becomes much fuller, and your experience of what life is and can be, expands and becomes much broader. You come to feel more, you learn to see deeper and question more. The bigger picture becomes available.
When you step out of your own comfort zone, whatever it may consist of, you understand life's full potential, and although it may induce a feeling of vertigo and bewilderment, I highly recommend it. In order to experience somtething you have never felt, you must do something that you've never done. New york taught me that.
And maybe more importantly, if you have the courage to keep your eyes and heart open during those jumps in life, you will land with a wiser, more panoramic perspective. A perspective that expands equally towards wonder and pain, and if you learn to navigate with love towards both extremes of the expansion, Life, will always provide. That I learned from Guido.

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