Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I think dancers forget sometimes that they are part of a higher
community- artists- and it's an honor and a talent that only a
select few really posses- and I believe dance is one of the highest
forms of expression. Plato once said 'Dance is the closest you'll get
to expressing the soul" (well not exact words- but pretty darn close).
'You are the central character of your own Novel'. This idea should
also be present in dance as well. We don't always get to have a solo or be in the front or even be lit... both in life and on stage. However, this doesn't mean that
our performances should have any less meaning for ourselves or the
audience. A few years ago, I went to see the 'The Paris Opera Ballet'
and was entranced by the dancers- oh, no, not the prima ballerina- not
the main prince- no, I was completely involved in the background
peasants dressed in very 'unfortunate' costumes. The reason I was so
focused on them was that they were so true to their character, their
insignificant roles barely on stage, that I couldn't take my eyes off
of them. I find it is much more interesting, both as an audience and as a performer, to put your own story and emotion into every step... not kidding... every single step.
I had the pleasure of watching different student choreography last week at the showing and was overwhelmed and proud to know all of the dancers and choreographers. It was a marvel to watch the different journeys all the dancers and choreographers are allowing us to witness. This is why I'd like to discuss the idea or the meaning of performance. Why do we perform? is it to show that we can point our feet and remember steps? maybe. But I think
it's much more than that. Why, as a patron, would I be interested in
watching kicks, and tricks, and turns, and poses, when I've seen that
before sooo many times? I can see that anywhere. I believe that it
is a dancer's duty to take themselves and the audience on an artistic
journey... and beyond... I believe dance is when you
feel so much emotion that you cannot express it except by dancing it.
Just like music: as if the words coming out of your mouth are too
important to be just said- they NEED to be sung. Otherwise- what
the hell are we doing on stage at all?!
I see more potential in all of us. We have an amazing opportunity to really stretch the limits of ourselves as performers, dancers, students, artists, and choreographers. I want to be the kind of dancer who thinks she’s doing a solo even when she’s in the back behind someone really tall... because every step is
important... Maybe a ronde de jambe won't save the world, but it's a start...
Photo: Prem Ananda premphoto.com