Heid E. Erdrich

Weave with Rosy Simas Danse by Heid E. Erdrich 

Recorded sounds blow out of their original proportion – digitally made both larger and smaller than they were once. I am immersed in the sounds of water. As I listen, dancers before me are co-creating Weave for Rosy Simas Danse. I imagine my own body in motion, in the pleasure of expression, exploring the sound Rosy choreographs with, a composition of heavy vibration. 

The lights are low and the floor creaks with the subtle movements of four dancers. There are forms coming into view in the dim light, very slowly arcing out – the leading edge of a wave. 

They are co-creating, almost sleepily, but actively so as if half-awake still making the narrative of a dream even as they rise. Except the narrative is within the body of each artist in Weave. No one story arches over the work. This is exciting for me because I am a woman of words, words are my work, and Weavetakes me beyond words. 

The bodies of the dancers are clear now they’ve reached the light. Each seems to search, but of course I’ve projected that meaning because I want to read gesture in their movements. The music is ringing and taking its own direction. The dancer’s bodies slow to a directional wave – a pointing of sorts that diminishes as the sound circles down to nothing. 

Then the sound of bubbles and water rise again with the lights. This gorgeous composition slowly builds through waves slowed so minutely that I hear each bubble pop upon the shore, fizzling first like grease on a hot pan, then shell grains rocked upon the beach. This sound undoes my ability to analyze. Takes me from my critical self. All I can do is watch each dancer round themselves to the sound. 

My greatest pleasure in witnessing this work is that it requires me to listen most carefully. When my hearing grows tired, I teach myself to listen differently, to feel vibration elsewhere in my body. The music shifts to a composition of sound projected in profound humming that brings the audience into the physical space of the dance in a direct, even visceral way.  There’s so much such hugeness in this soundscape -it must be the world or all of creation that it addresses. It must be something that can free us from our small selves, if we give over to it as the dancers do, if we listen together, we will find ourselves somehow closer, yet enlarged.