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Photo by Jannica Honey

Seeing this photo reminded me of who I am and what I love about Dark Fusion. I'm an explorer and a mother, I crave adventures outside the mundane daily life to feel connected to myself, but the irony of it all is that I can't do it alone. I need to connect with other human beings, to share the adventure, guiding you into the wild outdoors or the wilderness inside while lovingly keeping you safe.

Sharing emotions without word, a fundamental human experience that we are getting more and more removed from behind our screens and in our carefully curated performances. The video performances have given us plenty of opportunity to reach out and connect beyond borders, but it have also given us hours of hours staring at ourselves on a screen, trying to edit away imperfections. A hopeless task that, at least for me, have been chipping away at the joy and leaving me to feel utterly inadequate and uninspired. I've pretty much stopped sharing full performances as I just keep seeing flaws.

So when the fierce Amazon Karin Victorin suggested I would join Arise Amazons - The green theory - out in the forests of Nackareservatet, I did not hesitate for a second. Nervous and excited I arrived and was welcomed by Rebecca Tiger, a force of nature that I expected to be pretty intimidating considering her powerful presence. But instead I felt welcomed and cared for as she helped me find the perfect spot and very clearly communicated that we (the artists) could feel safe and empowered to do our own thing on our own terms.

During the event people came and went, exploring the forest and it's artist inhabitants and every meeting was an experience in it's own. The coming and going at their own pace gave them and me a chance to let us connect very directly and in very different ways. It could be playing together with fan veils among the trees or having my little green sanctuary as a stage and embody a warrior of the forest wielding my swords. Giving their energy and interaction, every person passing by contributed to how the movement developed and for the first time in a long time I could enjoy the process of creation without pressure and anxiety.

The evening culminated in a magical ceremony and I danced, filled with joy, to the beats of the live drums and the powerful voices of the choir and I felt at home, empowered and so much love for everybody sharing the experience.

Dark Fusion for me is not about dressing in black (even though I prefer that), it's to tap into the whole range of emotions. Exploring the sadness as well as the joy and sharing unapologetically, not feeling a need to look cool in any certain way. This picture reminds me that when I'm given space (and allow myself) to be all me, then I don't give a rats ass about my body imperfections, I feel beautiful. Thank you so much Jannica, for capturing this magical moment in time (and so many other that night).

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I say yes too much, I take on more than I can handle and I deeply fear disappointing anyone. I get enthusiastic and very easily and say yes without thinking or asking any questions. I try to learn to say no, to draw boundaries and to prioritize myself. The past two weekends I've been taking an intensive with Amy Sigil and it dawned on me that I need to learn to say yes... to me. The only person I keep saying no to is myself.

I overthink and question everything, every idea, every music choice, every attempt at creating a choreography. Nothing is good enough and I end up with having to go on stage and improvise, because I got stuck in thinking mode and my process did not get out of my head and into my body. But performing is still fun, so I feel good about it for a while, until I see the film and only see flaws. I see myself thinking on what I should do next and my technique and expression is suffering for it.

At times I'm ready to just give up, why do performances when I just don't get any better at it. But fortunately I have an amazing community that continuously inspire and encourage me to keep moving and to share the love for this artform. The most visible impression of The Stygian Collective is the incredible talent of these badass performers, but the really important part is behind the scenes; the love, support and inspiration. A safe place to grow, wherever in your journey that you are. A place to be vulnerable and accepted for you, just as you are.

The Ascension 2021 is over, but I'm still in awe, struggling to find words for how much I admire and adore my dance family. How they make my life better and how much I appreciate the opportunities they have given me and how they believe in me when I don't. They are saying yes to me and now it's time for me to learn to say yes as well.

I have one more weekend of the S.I.G.I.L. intensive and I'm so excited to see where this journey will be taking me. Thank you Amy for sharing your yes with me, it really means a lot to me.

A sneak peek from my Metropolis burlesque improv, live streamed at the Ascension gala show.

I do have some good bits to save for the creation of a proper choreography.

The headdress was created by Sarah Burchill - artisan of the weird and wondrous.

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So I have this very, very special dress. 1. It's made from Assuit, an Egytian fabric with little metal pieces put in to create patterns. 2. It was expertly sewn together by highly skilled creator Sarah Burchill to fit me exactly. 3. I used it for the 50th anniversary tour of Bal Anat in Stockholm, London and Brussels.

I have been searching for it EVERYWHERE and I've been so upset that it's gone! "Ah.. I see you have a hand in your pot there" you say? Yes, you're absolutely right. I walked through the hallway and on an impulse I stuck my hand down into the pot. Putting the dress there was a kind of logical choice as I made it for the Pot Dance in Bal Anat (yes, water pots, what did you think it was?). But if you have a seriously dysfunctional memory logic doesn't always help.

Bal Anat in Brussels. Photo by J-M Schneider.

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