There is a Reason People Outlaw Dance
(What the Festival of New Dance does to this middle-aged mother of one may shock you!)
Step 1. (insomnia)
What is the point?
Is it boobs?
Boobs, clever-clever! and winning the things? With so much busy! Always busy! Full! Oh hahah I’m SO busy!
I see. It’s not boobs.
Watching movies you used to wonder, “if that happened to me would it have such impact (such appeal!) without that soundtrack and an audience? Where is my audience?”
Now it is all audience.
Did it work? Is it so much more “haha!” and “Voila!” and “Oooh, this moment!”?
Wait. The sky is not so dark now and I have an itch like a new thought at the back of my mind; like a sneeze caught and unrealized. If I appreciate that silvering glow in the east where the ocean meets the sky, if I can be here just right, perhaps I can …
The sun is rising and the wind has died down.
My daughter will wake up before I can tie the wraiths of my to-do list to any scaffold I can scab or climb.
Dry shampoo and cereal and just late enough to excuse driving
I will exercise later
but “oh dear!” you forgot your sneakers again!
I will get extra work done
or maybe a snack.
Step 4. (why did I buy a ticket to see some fucking dance show)
You know you must leave the house for it.
It would be so easy to stay home.
Your dishes and new episodes! You build whole philosophies around inertia just to justify
… my right to stay the hell home. I’m so tired. but…
that itch from the pre-dawn. You must leave your partner or the sitter at home with the tailings of supper on the counter and run down the hill wearing
… shit. There was something to be seen in but I forgot to shower again and…
that’s not the point anyway
… but still, shit. Dammit, I wish I was gorgeous running through the dusk past the Basilica. Outside the LSPU hall no one is smoking and inside is the antechamber-of-social-discomfort that is the lobby of an arts performance. Drink a beer and look aloof or hide in a bathroom stall until you can rush to your seat just in time
Step 5. (the lights are down, the audience hushed)
Boredom and anticipation and anxiety
Did I turn off my phone? What if I don’t understand this and it’s the longest piece? How long is it? What is it? What if someone can see my expressions during the show and they aren’t sufficient? Should I mingle after the show or escape the horror of mingling?
What will you notice? What will you waste?
Step n. (Revelation)
The stage is barely lit.
Their movements are so small and unfamiliar.
The lighting is crepuscular, all world beyond the stage has vanished.
I have vanished.
The brief, fine, brittle, tissue-weight of freedom from ourselves! These moments of pure active intake are so rare, so difficult. We flit out of revelation in our realization of it. But then….
That arm! That shadow! What is that? How could anyone move so slowly and still be riveting, still be dancing? What is dance?
It slows our very breathing
The dancers are washing gently back and forth, drawn and released, drawn and released by a tide of their own bodies’ making.
They are solely responsible and wholly engulfed
I would have us all suffocate just to stay in this heavy atmosphere with them for a few minutes longer.
It has already been almost an hour.
I am covered in tears and sweat. I am exhilarated. Walking home through the dark I am practically a musical I am so full of song and connections.
What is the point?
OH oh oh! I cannot say it. I still do not know it. But oh how good it feels to not be tired of it!
We used to have souls to polish or defile. These days we do not know what to call ourselves inside
But I know, (oh now I know!) my inside must be fed.
And these unfamiliar Arts are lavish meals for what-was-once-a-soul? You are still racing, slothful, loud and lonely hosts …
…but with some sustaining, jolly, odd and plum-cake core (I felt it rise inside me!) that proves antidote to hollow lives.
What is the point?
I do not know! I cannot wait to try again!