Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pure Dance

At my desk, I had the opportunity this morning to set the brochure for the American Ballet Theater on the shelf above me. The front panel has three still frames from Cunningham’s “Duets”. There is no question about the disciplined strength in the figures, and above the sparkling smiles, there is a fierceness in their eyes, a wild refinement for release and radiance.

Then even with the strength the dancers have developed, there is the delicate extension of their hands and the gracious grazing of the fingertips where the air trembles. To have so much strength and still retain the delicacy of touch is truly exceptional. In fact, there is really no description for it. Referral only diminishes. It is a quality that can only be evinced by its existence. Anything else is incredible.

I am inspired to envision a dancer driven to leap like a lion, yet as George Balanchine instructed to "land like a pussycat".  That combination could be the distillation of one of the most perfect systems of ethics ever devised.

Written in anticipation of the commencement of another glorious dance season.