Every time I attend a dance concert, I’m energized. Validated. Inspired. And a little wistful. It hasn’t always been this way. After I stopped dancing in the early 90s, (for both simple and complicated reasons,) there were a few years that I just couldn’t go. Could not envision my identity as a member of the audience. Could not conjure my place in the local modern dance community if that place wasn’t as a performer.
I needed to integrate my deeply etched dancer-identity and be on to the next new thing. But for several years, I closed myself off and compartmentalized. My resistance finally melted and I discovered I could, indeed, claim my spot in the audience. Now, I find myself at modern dance performances maybe twice a year.
This evening was one of those lucky times. I found myself in a seat at Merrill Auditorium to see the very talented Doug Varone and Dancers. When the curtain came up, the air that wafted into the auditorium smelled unmistakably like the stage, of course — but, ahhhh, what a strong theater sensory memory. Then, the blur of arms, leaping legs, color, sound, lights, the precise partnering and the solos were breathtaking. I found myself breathing in time with the dancers. Involuntary muscle movements jerked my arms, legs and head like a puppet. I tried to disguised those movements with a casual crossing of the legs or smoothing my hair back. My body wanted to move!
I still dream about dancing. The dreams are so detailed, movements could be jotted down upon awakening and recreated in the waking world. In my dreams, I am always a much, much better dancer than I ever was in waking life.
I want to have one of those dreams tonight.