Portraits

Urban Playdate: Lizzy Mulkey

JAMAICA PLAIN, MA * JULY 2014 * SONY NEX-7 * LIGHTROOM 5

"Dance has always been playing for me."

for the full collection of photos -> Urban Playdate: Lizzy Mulkey

Coming up on four years ago, I met Lizzy. She's the partner of Nick, one of my nearest and dearests from college, and over the years she has become one of my nearest and dearests. Our first meeting was at a New Year's celebration. I watched Lizzy dance at the party; she was so exuberant and shone so brightly, I  wondered if her joy was genuine.

It absolutely was. For Lizzy, dance is play. So many of us lose our ability to genuinely play as adults. When Lizzy dances she comes alive with an unabashed, wild, and childlike joy. Her movement is not naive; it is joyful and also multidimensional, full of depth and wisdom as she moves passionately through space and time.

A few months ago gathered at the celebration for our friend Teenie's upcoming wedding, Lizzy and I talked about doing a creative project together combining her dance/movement and my photography.

This collaboration was as good and better than I could have imagined, a deeply fulfilling and fruitful collaboration. We felt at home and comfortable with each other. Neither of us was fought to control the other or the process. When either one of us had an idea, the other would give it a go. The word "no" had no place in this day because we didn't need it - we stayed in tune with each other through communication and remaining present to each other.

Our success was not only a product of the alchemy of our friendship; it was because of the intention we brought to the day. We started the process slowly; in the morning we went for a walk with coffee and caught up on each others' lives. We exchanged ideas and then jumped right in. We walked all over Jamaica Plain, open to the spontaneity of the day. Lizzy communed through dance with sidewalks, a subway platform, a grove of painted trees, stairs, and passersby. We took an afternoon break and then went out again near sunset. We incorporated magical sunflowers in the shoot and for part of the day had the company of child muses, Ella and Noah, and location/production support from Sophia and Seth (thanks!),

This day made for one of the most fulfilling artistic experiences of my life. Lizzy, a heart-filled thank you. For all of this and for showing me so clearly how important play is in these serious times.

You are muse, magic-maker, dancer, sage.

For more goodies check out the whole set here: Urban Playdate: Lizzy Mulkey.