WAN CHAI, HONG KONG, 1990 — Senior Year. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Artist’s Sketchbook. haha. My early vision for thesis concert. I didn’t fully appreciate how unlikely a BFA concert was to get either a flying rig or a giant tree setpiece. But it was a lot of fun to scribble and imagine. And to work out choreographic possibilities. And to feel the strength and confidence of a 21-year-old body.

Vaneeesa Blaylock's Artist's Sketchbook, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 7 October 1990. Image of "flying" dancer circling around an old, broken tree. Graphite in sketchbook.

THE HAGUE, 2012 — 22 years ago today. Holy crap. Can you believe that? It was the beginning of senior year at HKAPA and I was doodling ideas about our thesis concert. Of course it was grandiose stuff I could never actually do in an undergrad concert. 22 years ago. Half my lifetime ago.

Sometimes when I look at Ancient Art, or even just Renaissance Art, my mind reels at the inconceivably vast chasm of time between my living body now, and those past artists. It strikes me as a sort of dream time. A sort of fantasy. At 43 I can’t truly imagine, can’t fully appreciate, or grasp, such a cavernous distance of time. What drawing did Durer make 500 years ago today? There isn’t really such a thing as FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO TODAY, is there? My mind reels at such a possibility. It is a fiction! IT MUST BE A FICTION!

Did some distant human ancestor really paint on a cave wall somewhere in Southern France 15,000 years ago today? No! No! Such a thing is impossible. Or yes, of course possible in some “scientific” way, but so alien to my 43 years of breathing on this planet that it might as well be fiction. I can barely believe that I made this sketch 22 years ago today. 500 years ago today for Durer? 15,000 for the artists of The Dordogne? I guess it’s true if you want to believe it. It’s too, too long ago for a choreographer of very little brain to truly imagine.

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GuestYordie Sands