Maybe it doesn't hold a candle to me clutzing around in my clogging shoes, but it is no less entertaining.
Jillian, our son Reuben's girlfriend, just finished her second of a four-year program at The School of Contemporary Dancers, professional program, in Winnipeg. Her recital offers a new experience for hubby and me.
We realize going in that modern dance will be, uhm, different. So I am pleasantly surprised when the first piece proves more traditional, with high energy and actual music. "I'm going to love this," I whisper to Jon. In fact, I tell him how I am going to learn to do this one day when I get where I'm going.
The second piece is a little freaky, as is the third. But this one features the lovely Jillian, and it is great fun to see her on stage. By this time I realize I have two options: I can admit this is all too deep for me and just relax; or, I can invoke my inner artsy snob and pretend I get it, inventing some lame comments to regurgitate later. Something to demonstrate how cleverly superior I am, like: "Tragically, even their best efforts tend to be efficient pastiche, and I found it to be staggeringly trite."
It takes a lot less energy to choose the first option. Reuben says, "Mom, there's nothing to get," and I figure he should know. So I relax and enjoy, even chuckling quietly when something seems beyond ludicrous. I will learn later that Jillian's family doesn't necessarily get it either, but love and support her, laughing and rolling their eyes sometimes, too.
We see 15 pieces in all. The "music" ranges from opera to silence to a recording of someone flipping through TV channels every three seconds....for a solid six minutes. There are solos, duets, trios, and ensemble pieces. They dance in flamboyant feathers, mourning dresses, white nighties, glittery gowns, and shorts. The lighting designers create diverse moods for every piece. At the conclusion of each, the dancers take a deep bow, long hair flipping to their toes, followed by a head bow, then three steps backwards, turn right, and exit. At least something is predictable.
Amid the weirdness, the rolling-on-the-floor sequences, and what I call the dislocated shoulder move, I see much to be admired. The too-deep-for-me factor aside, it is inspiring to witness what a human body can do. The strength, grace, and flexibility of these young people truly is breathtaking. To be that comfortable in one's own body - and with the bodies of others - is commendable.
I know not everyone holds this perspective, but I observe such things with a reverent wonder for the Creator of these bodies. I hope the souls inside appreciate what they've been given and acknowledge the Giver every now and then. Friedrich Nietzsche said "I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance."