Saturday, March 10, 2012

Resuming the Dance


Bear with me. I am lately obsessed with the dance, the way bodies can move in space, the art of their shapes, the fluid motion, the way they hurl themselves into the air, knowing that everything is possible. Was such movement ever possible for me? I hated running as a child, it never felt comfortable on my body, and decades later, I learned that might have been because my left leg is shorter than my right. My knee joints also hyperextend, and the ligaments that hold them are like loose elastic, not protective at all. My son might shake his head at this explanation, as he knows the correct terms for things, and the anatomical relationships of things. He would say, you have to move anyway, even now, no matter that it hurts, it is the only way. Once, I danced, though. Growing up in Jamaica, I had a gifted teacher whose body, like mine, was not the dancer's ideal, but whose love of the dance, and grace and knowledge, were boundless. I should never haver stopped dancing.


These photos by Andrew Eccles are of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company dancers.


22 comments:

  1. Sometimes I feel like there is something deep inside my body that aches to dance, to run, to really, really move. But it hurts and feels so effortful to do so -- this post is beautiful and inspiring. I envy those whose insides and outsides are equal --

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    1. elizabeth, i deeply know what you mean.

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  2. how luscious these photos are! i really wanna see this troupe again.

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  3. Those pictures are truly amazing! Wow.

    And an entire inch and a half? Holy moley!

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    1. NOLA darling, that's what a trainer I used to work with told me. Did I get it wrong, did i exaggerate? I have been known to. Your comment makes me think an inch and a half isn't accurate so i changed the text to just "shorter." that i know is true. LOL

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  4. Beautiful dancing pictures. I used to run and move without even thinking about it. So wonderful!!

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    1. Kristin, here's to both of us doing that again.

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  5. Oh what a gorgeous post and thoughtful. I too have the hypermobility thing going on which has helped being a violinist but my knees take a beating. Whenever I hear basketball players talked about as he has air I think have you never been to the ballet?
    xo

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    1. Rebecca, i would love to hear you play the violin.

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  6. It is not too late...only thing stopping you is your mind. Start with some yoga and work yourself into dance...if not now..when?

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    1. yoga is my favorite form of exercise. and yes, now.

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  7. This may be a side-tangent to your blog but tonight I watched a TED talk with Mae Jemison. In it she talks about how arts (specifically dancing) and science are often thought of as two separate disciplines and how they actually should be taught in our schools as a means to merge intuition and logic into artful innovation.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/mae_jemison_on_teaching_arts_and_sciences_together.html

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  8. You can always start dancing again, you know! :)

    (My left leg is slightly shorter than my right -- I never notice except when I'm running, and the rhythm of my footfalls isn't quite even.)

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    1. Steve, and still you run. and you like running. that inspires me a little.

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  9. Glad to find your blog is back! Yesterday I tried several times and got a message that it could not be found (from the link on my blog). Anyway, dance! I was always appreciative that I had a dancers body and could move with grace. I say this not as a boast--although I am sure that without the inflection of voice it can read that way--but always wished I had studied from an earlier age. Now it is too late to do the things I would like to do with my body because dancers do have an age limit. Professional dancing is a young sport. Still, I do like to shake it up with the kids in the elementary school. Thankfully we are never to old to dance for ourselves!

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    1. Gary, i can hear your inflection and i love your appreciation of your gifts. you have many. keep dancing, my friend.

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  10. When I watch dancers or acrobats I am in awe. I see how light and freely they flow as thought they can alight up in the air with wings one can not see or they fall as softly as a feather falling. Ah to think of the carefree ability of youth...I feel heavy or more firmly attached by invisible roots to earth now.

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    1. Ellen, i know what you mean. my body used to feel springier. But, why not again, right?

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  11. You've spoken deeply to my young girl's heart here.

    I was lucky (so lucky!) to have studied under Nat Horne, who was one of Alvin Ailey's protege's, and an old school broadway/jazz dancer. I was NOT a born dancer and even though it was apparent that I had no future in performance, he made me feel like I was a swan.

    It does feel good to dance. I hate inhibitions.

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    1. Silverfin, how wonderful to hold such a memory. I am sure it spilled over to other parts of your life. That swan is still in you. xo

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