Adrian Clark's been a force of nature in my company for over seven years. The first time I saw Andy dance was at St. Mark's Church where I turned to my companion in the midst of the show and said, "Who IS that?" She knew who I was asking about - it was clear. Gravity itself appeared to submit to him as he moved, and the floor bent toward him like he was sliding on ice.
That quality of Andy's - his daring and intensity, his feral instinct; hard to name but easy to see - has lit up his dancing, and in turn my dances, since the first time I asked him to work with me in the studio. And dancing with Andy is a singular experience - one feels both safe and scared, challenged and certain - he can send you away from a sense of control and whirl you back toward center as natural as breathing.
In addition to his innate artistry, Andy offered me his stalwart friendship, advanced co-worrying skills, unwavering confidence, and a very brilliant critical mind at every sudden cliff edge or steep climb that comes with the territory of starting a dance company. In essence, he's a true "mensch," as my grandparents called a person of highest integrity and honor.
Now that Andy's moving on to a new phase of his life - which he'll attack with the same passionate commitment, I have no doubt - Doug, Leslie and I will miss him in the studio and on the stage. Andy always kept a keen eye on the balance of things, and pulled us back to center before we even sensed a spill.
We love you, Andy Clark!
Saying goodbye to being a dancer and being a member of KWCo feels a lot like saying goodbye to family before setting off to travel. Filled with sadness and filled with fear and filled with excitement. The past seven years has been a microcosm of the rest of my life; I have found friends that are more than friends and explored my relationship to them in a wild mix of formal roles and unplanned collisions. I am proud of the contributions I was able to make, still upset about the directions that I did not succeed in exploring to my satisfaction, but mostly I have a sense of love and support as we part. It has challenged how I see myself, my strengths and my faults, and has forced me finally to understand the power of letting go.
This company is not a controlled entity. It is an organism, a person, with violent passions and surprising impulses that we can experience, sometimes harness, but never totally understand. It is a child that we can urge in a direction, support with all our hearts but must ultimately respect as a powerful being with its own future. It is made of its members but is greater than each of them. As I leave, I am so exited to watch where this beautiful thing that I was honored to be a part of will go next. I am thrilled to be able to sit in the audience and experience with everyone else these stunning artists and support this one-of-a-kind company.
So back to letting go: Thank you, Kate. You, the mother of this stunning creature, the person that filled it with passion and the daring that filled it with purpose. A true artist. My friend who believed in me and my dance partner for ever. Thank you, Doug, honestly the most clear and beautiful man I have ever worked with, and my brother. Thank you Leslie, my wife and life, I will dance with you at home now ... And a full hearted thank you to Kurt, Brian, Sarah, Philip, Keira, the amazing board and everyone else who have supported us all along the way. You all are my family and my memories of us are part of what makes me myself. I love you.
Drop Down photo by Stephen Schreiber.
Bright Land photo by Whitney Browne
Other photos by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang