I and the Nassau Weekly desperately want to hang out with you. Giri Nathan and I have dispatched two email messages to your Co-Presidents in which we beseeched your troupe to socialize and eXpound and celebrate life with the staff and friends of the Nass. At long last, you have accepted our invitation, and for this I thank you. I would like to eXplain our purposes here, in this letter, for your sake and for the sake of the truth.
I recognize that you may consider our invitation to be strange. I recognize that it is socially unacceptable to email a student you do not know well to purposely deepen your bond, but I am impatient for our organizations’ friendship to blossom organically, so I sought instead to catalyze the process by addressing you directly. I recognize that this paper has a reputation for satire and snark and trickery, but I need you to trust me that I write with sincerity. I do not desire to engage with you lasciviously, nor to embarrass you in print. I do not desire fame or money or eating club passes or any other wealth you may have access to. I eXpect nothing from our meeting but to know you as you want to be known, and for you to know us as we can best share ourselves. I want only to forge an honest acquaintanceship.
I believe that eXpressions and the Nassau Weekly have a lot in common. I also believe that even without our transmission of emails, our groups would have allied in camaraderie eventually. Both of our groups are dedicated to the continuous production of a brand of art that is unique and important and our own, art that is specific to Princeton as well as to the individual humans that compose our groups’ membership. Both of our groups monitor our humors, and regulate and supplement and bleed. Both of our groups, internally and eXternally, eXpress.
I am intimately familiar with the ways of the Nass. Any creative group that takes itself seriously has a shared mission or aesthetic or philosophy that resonates with its core members, and which its core members desire to make resonate in its peripheral members and in its audience. At the Nass, we sometimes name this quality “nassiness.” A written piece or a campus event or a human behavior may or may not be nassy, which means it may or may not fit the mission/aesthetic/philosophy of the Nass. I will not attempt to eXhaustively define nassiness here, but I will tell you that for me, it means treating moments of significance (a catastrophe, an ecstasy, a profound sight or sound or silence) with critical analysis that is rigorous and intellectually honest, and at the same time, deeply personal and individual. Nassiness is different from the missions/aesthetics/philosophies embodied by Tiger Mag and by The Daily Princetonian and by The Daily Princetonian’s Street section and by The Daily Princetonian’s Street section’s blog, The Prox. I do not think nassiness is necessarily the best mission/aesthetic/philosophy in which one might live or write, but it is something that I like to practice and that I believe I benefit from cognitively and emotionally. I have a lot more to say about this, and I would be happy to say it to you.
What is the mission or aesthetic or philosophy of eXpressions? What is consistent and important and idiosyncratic about your style of dance? How is it distinct from the styles of dance of other student groups? What do you want audiences at an eXpressions performance to be ruminating as they watch your show? What do you want them to be ruminating as they walk home from the theater? What features define the corporeality of an eXpressions dance? What features define an eXpressions dance’s use of space? What features define an eXpressions dancer in performance? What features define an eXpressions dancer in rehearsal, or in the library, or on the Street, or after she graduates? What do you look for in your recruits? What do you admire in your alumni? What is the pursuit of eXpressions, and why is it valuable?
We, like you, are Princeton University students who produce art that we care about. We, like you, are interested in eXploring ourselves, in eXcavating our innards, in eXamining our surroundings. We, like you, want to find out what we think about the world and what we want out of the world and how to best reside in the world and how to make the world good. We, like you, feel urged to eXpress our thoughts and troubles and delights to a broader audience in order to make sense of our own minds and bodies. We, like you, want to be appreciated, but only when we know that we’ve earned appreciation. And so we want to hang out with you.
I look forward to sharing an evening with you. In the meanwhile, we will continue to write and edit and layout and distribute our newspaper, and I hope that you will continue to choreograph and to rehearse and to dance. When you are ready, our two communities shall favorably fuse and ignite and erupt in uneXpectedly vibrant and illuminating and explosive ways, like hydrogen and oxygen in the belly of a rocket. When you are ready, we will eXpand, we will eXcel, we will eXceed. When you are ready, we will eXpress ions.
Nassau Weekly vs eXpressions Softball Scrimmage
Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:06 AM
Dear Rachael and Abby,
On behalf of the Nassau Weekly, we’d like to invite you and your troupe to a friendly pickup softball match sometime while the weather is still warm (eXact date and time TBD). We at the Nass have become interested in more deeply eXploring campus life and forging connections between students of seemingly disparate interests, and we think a low-stakes athletic competition with a talented dance group presents an eXciting opportunity for acquiring new insights, and heck, maybe even friendship. We’re a bunch of friendly ladies and gents, but some alcoholic social lubrication is a possibility should you desire it.
Please let us know what you think, and eXpediently!
Rafi and Giri
Re: Nassau Weekly vs eXpressions Softball Scrimmage
Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM
Dear Rachael and Abby,
On behalf of the Nassau Weekly, we’d like to invite you and your troupe to a friendly pregame mixer sometime while the weather is still frosty (eXact date and time TBD). We at the Nass have become interested in more deeply eXhilirating campus life and forging connections between students of seemingly disparate interests, and we think a low-stakes social competition with a talented dance group presents an eXotic opportunity for acquiring new insights, and heck, maybe even friendship. We’re a bunch of friendly gents and ladies, but some alcoholic social lubrication is a possibility should you desire it.
Please let us know what you think, and eXegetically!
Giri and Rafi
I ain’t lookin’ to compete with you
Beat or cheat or mistreat you
Simplify you, classify you
Deny, defy or crucify you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.
What is consistent and important and idiosyncratic about Rafael Abrahams‘s style of dance? How is it different from the style of dance of the Nassau Weekly?