Photo: Lisa Light

I am always grateful and inspired by sharing the gift of performance and endless hours of dance study that makes up the package of Zari Le’on Dance Theater. This show was no different, and very different, but fortunately when great success is found, so lives great ease. Thirteen years after I created my muse, the ease has arrived.

Success is owed to perseverance and hard work and a TON of supporters, witnesses, collaborators, teachers, friends, partners, mothers, and the list goes on. Success is also owed to the day in, day out moments of life and integrating those aspects into the work. Every time I perform in the space in Oakland I am so humbled at the opportunity to share and to be promised another day. Performance is the promise of another day.

Throughout my various incarnations of Zari Le’on Dance Theater people have said something to the effect of “Why don’t you go and perform in Carnegie Hall and be like, super, super famous and shizzle?” I always get a laugh out of that suggestion. “Because I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you,” I reply with a smile. I have always loved sharing the work with the people I interface with on a regular basis. Whatever awesome I possess goes to them, is because of them, is owed to them. And so the riddle goes: If you don’t think I am awesome, then my awesome is not for you. Then, it is plain and simple. Nothing gives me greater joy than to perform for and share with my people with whom I love, hate, and dance.

For this reason, I will always return to places and people who nurture my growth. Oakland, CA is one of those places. It is a different place from when I created Zari Le’on (not my real name) in 2002 until now in 2015, but so am I and THANK GOD. It is that thing that they discuss in marriages “For better or for worse” and believe me, some things are a hellova lot worse. But other things are gorgeous, and so come what may I keep coming back to share teaching and performing, so maybe a bridge is success.  The city that boasts one of the biggest and most controversial bridges in the USA wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes. Bridges are Success.

In the Spirit,

Zari Le’on

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