Wednesday, February 17, 2010

don't be a wallflower

I have many friends who dance at the drop of the hat. They dance in clubs and at parties; they skip and hop in the street; they bobble their heads and slide their heels to a rocking tune in the aisles of a grocery store. They dance because that is what they do. If you said, "Quick! Tell me something!" they would probably move before they managed to organize a word for their lips.

I have some friends who don't dance. Dance is an alien planet. Dance is something watched from afar, like the inexplicable behavior of some exotic creature revealed to the world only through meticulously edited nature documentaries.

I once had a friend (one from the second camp) tell me that the most frightening thing about dancing was the way you couldn't not be yourself while doing it. No fading behind shyness. It strips you of all the usual techniques that are so useful in deflecting attention from the things you want nobody to see.

That's the point, really. It's hard to remember sometimes, when you go into a studio and consciously make dance, but I think it's sobering, in a good way.


Kat Howard said...

I think the idea - "you can't not be yourself while doing it" - is true of making any sort of art. That at some level, you are creating something only you can create, and so you stop being able to hide. Sobering indeed, but also sort of lovely.

Megan Kurashige said...

It's definitely sort of lovely... Have been thinking lately about how "fluency" (or mastery, or skill, or whatever) in a form of expression both sharpens our ability to be honest and gives us the tricks to make smoke and mirrors... Haven't quite figured it out yet.