Lucy, Mirrored

Since 2014, I’ve shared a dialogue with a sculptor and Muay Thai fighter residing in London, UK who shares my first and last name.

Lucy Karen May and I have been creating, in her words, a “trace” of “our imagined Doubleness” through emails, letters, Skype calls and an exchange of photographs, videos and writing. We collect these in part on a Tumblr.

While performing a domain-name search 2013, I stumbled upon LKM’s existence across the Atlantic ocean. Some months later, while developing themes of self-portraiture in choreography, it occurred to me that LKM and I are of the same generation, that we share our artistic and athletic leanings, that her oozing opulent sculptures are visceral and physical in the movement they suggest. She makes dumbbells from bronze and draws charcoal images of her opponents leaning on boxing ring ropes with their gloves…

The differences between us are certainly many and varied, but we proposed to each other that we look into each others’ practices as if into a mirror, scrying for parallels.

IMG_1371The guide-wires that direct me into encounters with these multiple Lucy Mays include concepts of replication, duplication and simultaneous resonance found in art and science: Vivian Meyer’s recursive self-portraits; the principle of entanglement and Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance”; ‘the glitch’ in digital media; phases of cellular development; the cached parallel spaces mapped out in popular literature. These places, described in fictions like Through the Looking Glass, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, La Jetée, 12 Monkeys, Bridge to Terabithia, The Golden Compass, The Mists of Avalon, are only accessed under special auspices, in extenuating circumstances, or at precise moments in time, by empowered and alienated people, through their actions.

The rituals circumscribing my dances and LKM’s fights open doorways, I like to imagine, into parallel sacred spaces nested into the wings, the ring, the chambers of my heart…The internet too, where Lucy and I are primarily working together, seems like such a place.

LKM follows other leads, but in the convergent space between us we fixate on a shared vocabulary: our metamorphoses, triggered by words, dress, sound, scent and training; our hands, as tools, inroads to movement, legible histories and totems; our work spaces and gestures as fundamental rituals.

The mirror we have made reflects more than just our identities. Dance appears in fighting and fight appears in dancing. We’ve set our creative landscapes face to face and, inside that new entangled territory, my daily movements grow thick with subtle sense and weight.

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