Chrysa Parkinson lived in New York for a long time but chose for Brussels
because there is more work for her there. In New York she sometimes felt
underrecognized: it was often impossible to survive from the dance work
while everybody she knew valued it very highly. She never met the
journalists who wrote the halfhearted reviews nor the people who decided
about funding. She is not sure whether financial support is ever a marker
of the value of the work.
To Parkinson, the word ‘community’ implies a mutual responsibility: you
have to do things for the community and it will give you things back in
return. She feels part of a community that is not geographically
determined. The basis of that community is affection and work. People she
identifies with and who give her inspiration are part of her community.
When rehearsing for a long period, she notices that she becomes less
present in the larger dance community but all the more visible in the small
group of people she is working with at that moment. She does not feel like
she belongs anywhere and always feels slightly outside.
Performing has always been her top priority. In New York, she had to do
other jobs in order to keep performing; now it is her main source of
income. She does not have economical problems anymore and has the freedom
of choice. She might refuse other work in favour of performing. Sometimes
she feels that she spends too much time working in the studio and wished
she would have more time to think and get inspiration for her work.
Working at P.A.R.T.S. means working in a very small and intimate group,
which can also limit one’s point of view. She feels it is necessary to
open up her taste in order to continue to grow artistically and personally.
People know her in different roles: as a teacher, as a dancer or
personally. The problem is that they sometimes identify her with only one
role and project their assumptions on her. Her friends are almost all
artists in the performance field. Most of all she values the recognition of
her ‘peers’ (her ‘artistic contemporaries’). She feels recognized
when they respect her work and feel interested in what she is doing.