English being my mother tongue, I am more often asked to translate from French to English, though on occasion I have done the reverse. Both are possible, comfortable and enjoyable to me. Throughout my studies, through university in the States and in France, the written word has existed alongside dance, and has always been important to me. Living in a foreign country, choosing voluntarily to immerse oneself in a foreign culture, is a particular choice: interesting, exciting, exasperating, humbling, enriching. It leads one to question one’s own culture, to observe differences, to live daily the truism that there is no black and white, no one way of doing something or saying something, that one culture’s way cannot pretend to be the best. It is what it is. And living a daily life in a foreign language allows one insights into another way of thinking, another history, another collective conscience. It widens one’s own vision, at least one would hope, so that one’s curiosity might be whetted toward a multitude of differences.
For the most part, my translating combines experience in dance with this bi-cultural existence: I have done translating work for various dance companies, theaters and structures connected to dance (artistes associated with Les Artscèniques, among them Trisha Brown, the Ballet de Lorraine, Système Castafiore, Lia Rodriguès, Boyzie Cekwana… ; performances presented at the Théâtre national de Chaillot, Théâtre de la Ville, le Centre national de la danse…). The work includes artist’s intentions, program notes, press kits, press articles, technical riders, conference notes… I have also at times been asked to serve as interpreter for visiting companies. Bridging the gap between my two cultures is always a satisfying endeavor.