I dance because language has failed me. There are no words for how I feel. There are no words that can describe this experience. As social creatures, we want nothing more than to be seen for who we are, and have our identities validated. Everything I read about the trans experience, whether written by a trans or cis person, feels problematic. Words are caught in referential structures. Patriarchy and heteronormitivity are woven into our grammar. Words are not mine. Language serves those who created it. I feel colonized, stumbling to pick up the right words, but being forced to reference a history that oppresses me. I have my body. I have this malleable material through which I experience the world. I have senses and memory and flesh that waxes and wanes, builds and diminishes. I can’t speak my experience, but I can show you. I can show you my body. You’ll see my history in my muscles and on my skin. If you make it to the bones, you might understand my beginnings. I want to take you to the beginning. I want to invite you inside my body. Live each movement with me. Follow my limbs, my lines through space. Notice the flicks and swirls because they’ll be gone as quickly as they came. We can’t hold motion. It’s ephemeral, but it shapes our bodies. You can look at my body and read my movement history. You can watch me dance and know my body.

 

Elby Brosch is a dancer and choreographer who moved to Seattle after receiving his BFA in Dance from University of Illinois. Since moving to Seattle he has been performing in the works of Cherdonna Sinatra, Lou Henry Hoover, Shannon Stewart, and Kristin Hapke, as well as creating his own works. He also works in technical theater primarily at Velocity Dance Center and Gay City Arts. 

photo by Leah Vendl

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