Thursday, May 17, 2012

Martha is a dancer. She was dancing before she was born. She dances through her childhood. She dances through her career.

Dance is the perfect subject to explore the physical reality of our lives. Dance is an activity that excites the dynamics of involvement while minimizing disruptions. Typically, society advices individuals that disruptions can only be avoided through compromise, acquiescence, subjugation and abnegation. Dance demonstrates how life may be pursued to the vigorous extremes while maintaining harmony. There is no more perfect melding of robust exertion and intricate expression in human nature.

Through dance, strength is presented not through a capacity for destruction, but rather the ability to maintain a composure that can withstand the extremes of physical and creative expression. Dance demonstrates the ability to broaden the limits of liberated movement, not through reckless abandon, but through gracious balance, dedicated integrity and bold aspiration. Dance is more than the refinement of the human physique; dance is the refinement of the human character.

This poem, Martha, is a lyrical narrative depicting an art that is not about life, but is life as this life is lived by a dancer.


{the dance begins}

Upon the stage, Martha stands in her place
and waits.  Her body is lunging to move
in every direction at once.  Beyond the curtain,
the clatter of clapping then a sudden hush. 
The conductor stands upon the podium,
a glowing figure in the darkness before
the sparkling polish of the instruments. 
At one moment, there is perfect silence,
as if space was the surface of a placid lake.
The speaker announces, “In humanity
I see grace, beauty and dignity.
Here.  Let me show you.”  Then the curtain
lifts with the rush of Niagara.  The music
moves, filling the openness with consoling
tones, a melody of the woods twirling
ribbons of wind and gently, the dance begins.  

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