Friday, February 13, 2009

Let's dance

The world is saturated with hate everywhere: it is impossible not to breathe in the toxic fumes and become nauseous and ill, bitter and despairing, no matter where one tries to get a fresh breath of air. Many just live their lives and ignore the toxicity of hate; it is out of their control and so they focus instead on loving the next generation. They are the lucky ones; and perhaps the wise ones, and I often envy them.

I have not been so lucky. My first word was probably 'why?' and my second, 'how?' I have been the pernicious, precocious, persistent pest of every teacher who found my name on the roll. It was not my intention to torment them; I was just born passionately curious. Learning has led me on a merry but difficult chase in life; but I am grateful for even the most difficult lessons on my road. How was I to know that I would persist in asking questions which I did not want the answers to?

The questions and answers are not important now - because at the end, I see all boils down to the simple aspect of the human heart, good-willed or mean-spirited or even worse, indifferent. I see there can be no psychological, political, economic, philosophical, sociological, rational, religious or military solutions that will achieve 'peace on earth, goodwill to all': a simple smile or tear, hug or helping hand will do the job tho. Because the problem does not exist in systems; it exists in our hearts and our free will, and it is there we must touch each other if the world is going to change.

But this is not the point of my story, only background. My story is about dancing.

About a month ago, working on my computer, I left the television on in the background. Super Stars of Dance, hosted by Michael Flatley came on and I let it be for some interesting background music to my work. Countries participating are Australia, South Africa, the United States, Ireland, Argentina, Russia, India and China. The format is a competition in the group, singles and doubles categories of dance with judges from each country. Slowly, I began peeking at the TV screen...until finally I abandoned my computer altogether for the amazing energy from the dancers of these very different countries.

Since then, I have been rapt each time the next round of dancers appears weekly. Without a word, the tool of my trade, the energy of these dancers soaked every pore of my awareness. Each country thrilled me with a different experience from its own culture, its own music, its own history delivered to my heart through the beauty of their bodies in motion. I am a changed person for having experienced their gift of dance.

Videos here.

I gasped at the exquisite ballet and explosive Shaolin priests of China, the passion of the Argentine tango, the precision of dozens of Irish feet in perfect unison, the hip hop gyrations of the USA dancers, the women of India beautiful beyond belief expressing thousands of years of the Indian people and the Russians classic magic and sense of grace and humour. South African dancers awed me with both their tribal primacy and interpretive creations and the Australians - they may very well win with their choreography and energy that must have sprung from the very soil Down Under.

Through these bodies in motion, I have learned to love all these different countries just a little bit. Through them, I know of the people who are the real countries rather than the politics and rhetoric which is broadcast for global public consumption. They have touched my heart in a place I did not know was there. Because of them, there will be a little less hate in the world and a little more respect and appreciation.

I will continue to search the world for words which help me to understand our diversity and the path to our unity. I will question and marinate the information I find, packaged in language bundles and compartmentalised academic categories.

But I will never again question art as part of the solution to decrease hate between people. In fact art reaches all hearts without the words we so often argue over; it unites us in places of the heart, the real battleground of humanity's future. I can understand now what Gilad Atzmon has been saying about music.

So I invite all of my analytical rational truth seekers to participate in another path to reach our goal, goodwill among countries and toward all people. Between our labours of reason, our fears, despair, and hope, in the now, heart to heart with the pleasure of all our beings for the ecstasy of flowing together in peace and unity, let's dance.

Check out the pix on the website here.

1 comment:

Henry said...

Hello fellow dancer afficionado!

I think you would be interested in -- the world's first wiki-tango map where anyone can add or edit events.

If you see an event that has wrong information or is missing, make sure to fix it. The site is totally free with no ads, so hopefully it's something the worldwide (and your local) tango community can use and enjoy :-). Within 2 months, we will be launching a similar map for swing and salsa.

Take a look and let me know what you think!


All blogs are really just small snapshots of a person's mind, heart and soul as they evolve together through life....

Small bits of the thread of life we weave together into the fabric of ourselves, in the hope we will make sense of our existence, individual and collective.

On this page, is the cloak I have fashioned from my fabric to warm myself in a universe which often makes little sense.

Inside my cloak, it is warm enough to face the blistering cold winds of the insane world in which I find myself.

If you find some a bit of 'the good stuff' here, it has been my pleasure.