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The Courage to Create

Hey Friends and Pollywogs,

It's Colleen here, Artistic Director of Frog in Hand. Yup, I introduce myself to y'all frequently, but I bet you already know me! Well I'm writing you today because I've got a breathtakingly well written poem to share. It was created by the talented Ankita Alemona. You remember Ankita from Frog in Hand's 2021 Summer Company - she's a dancer, choreographer and performer. Ankita even wrote one of these blogs, you can check it out here - and she spoke about her time with the Summer Company on the (Art)Versations Podcast with Bri Clarke.


When I read this poem, I thought it beautifully reflects the time our creative team spent together, preparing for and eventually performing our show Stories in the Woods. Those performances were held at an important time for the Summer Company, as it was their last of 9 weeks with us. We're sharing it on the blog today as a way to celebrate our summer season, a way to find closure. Of course there's something new already brewing at Frog in Hand, but I'll chime in at the end to let you know what we've got coming up.


First, on to Ankita's poem.

Stories in the Woods (preshow). Image by Ankita Alemona

The Courage to Create

By Ankita Alemona, September 2021


A circle, in the grass,

A group of dancers

Smiling ~ eyes

We begin, masked

I turn to Maria

“I danced with you on ZOOM”

And now, here we are,

We are more than just a box.


Frog in Hand, rehearsal in progress, the sign reads


Take your time,

take care of yourself,

do what you need to do


I can no longer be with just me


This is an empathetic group


It takes courage

To show up,

to be here…

To still be here

To be clear

That this is where we are meant to be.

Photo by Annalise Grammacione

We carry the year with us


Unwell, slow, different

A new exhausted

Diagnosis, diagnosed

Walking down the stairs is…

Enough


It is as if an alien has entered me

And the body that could once

jump,

kick,

turn,

punch

I don’t know where she is.

I develop a new relationship – with my bed


Is your body ready,

to move again?


The sun is shining,

It has been shining, throughout

Teasing me

Inviting me

Asking me


How about today?

Today, I dress up,

I am going to

Dance


Summer is us, together,

A group of artists

With the courage to

Show up.


In conversations in-between,

There are glimpses of the year,

The anxieties, the challenges,

The cancelled shows

The community, longing to reconnect

These fears, shift –


To laughter,

Togetherness,

Smiles and listening

The Swarm (Sierra, Annalise, Maria, Rohan, Daniela, Erin) Photo by: Ankita Alemona

Opening night, in the dark,

Glowing paint on my body,

The slow arrival of dusk,

Changing colours in the sky

The ninja-game,

Or cloud watching?


We have a mission, a purpose, together

We are putting on a show,

We are pulling ourselves through a process

We are fighting, together


We are finding, within ourselves,

Daily,

The courage to create.


Welcome back.

Erin, Annalise, Ankita – Photo by Maria Riano

Mmmmm.

Such a lovely piece of writing. Thanks Ankita, for sharing.

It's Colleen again (I'm back, as promised). I'm delighted by what we accomplished this summer, the projects, training, research and exploration... Thanks to our collaborators, crew, audience, guests... and even you! since you're reading this - for your support. Special shout-out to the 2021 Summer Company - you folks are simply fantastic.


Today is the first day of Fall, and many of you know our in person experiences are winding down. However, we've got a radical radio play you can hear whenever, wherever you like (War of the Worlds Reimagined). It's easy to access from the Frog in Hand Ko-Fi shop right here, and it's only $10 to experience this full-length, sci-fi audio drama. We've also got upcoming classes, workshops and events - including the much-anticipated return of our Writing Circle class with Andrew Gaboury... So stay tuned Pollywogs! Colleen out!