Who would have thought it was not my fellow dancers that most recently invited me to a serious physical challenge, but my sixty year old dad. After a wonderful performance of Claire Cunningham’s 12 at Laban, I headed straight to the Swiss mountains to catch the last of this season’s snow during our week off. Dancing is my passion for sure, but from when I was very little, it is rivalled by that unique sensation of gliding across fresh powder on a piece of wood- snowboarding. When my dad organised a day freeriding led by an experienced mountain guide across several peaks in the ski resort of Lenzerheide, we knew an adventure would lie ahead, however we could not have imagined both its dare and beauty.
At 9am, a cable car brought us to the top of the Parpaner Rothorn, 2900 meters above sea level, the morning sun on the face and a perfect layer of fresh snow underneath our feet. Seven hours later, with 3500 meters of altitude put behind us, we arrived back where we had started off. The thin mountain air and fierce slopes had pushed our physical limits; however the untouched scenery of the Alps and the incredible rides were worth every ounce of effort.
In snowboarding, as in dance and performance, what matters most once you have mastered the technique, is presence. You and the mountain. Man and Nature. It makes sense that the essential characteristics of Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset/Reset equally apply: A fine balance between set movement and individual freedom that allows to listen, to see, to be in the moment. Acting on instinct, keeping it simple. Movement in sync with both the inside and the outside. And when I was ready on top of a mountain with a vast slope stretching out in front of me but not yet one trace to be seen, I could compare that feeling to the experience of each time we step on stage. To make a new trace. To forget all rules and enjoy the ride. To fly.