5 October 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

Saturday 4th October 2007

At least once a fortnight I spend Friday night at my daughter’s place for a mother/daughter bonding sleepover. We used to watch multiple episodes of Prison Break together in 7 hour marathons withour the interruption of inane advertisements, sometimes we'll watch a DVD, but our current obsession is “So You Think You Can Dance”. She tapes the episodes during the week so we can eat dinner (and dessert) together in front of the replay while her 3 year old daughter soaks up the female bonding vibes.

We just LOVE this program.

The dancing is inspirational, the contestants are gorgeous, vibrant, emotional, creative young people of real character and courage. Their immaturity and flaws are revealed with warmth, their hopes and dreams made obvious, age has not yet mellowed or dulled them.
The structure of the entire competition from the initial en-masse auditions to the cream-of-the-crop finals is really well thought out. My only criticism is the replaying of the judges comments when reviewing the previous night's performances - for me this drags the suspense of the final decision over my tolerance line.

We viewers get close to the dancers as they are miraculously teleported live, right into our living rooms. The informal clips from rehearsals and interviews really give us behind-the-scenes insight into who they are and the effort they put into this program, and I get way too involved with these creative kids.
Which explains why I cried when Jessie was cut from the competition.
She was asked what she’d miss most...she paused for a long moment then replied “Pasha” (the dance partner she’d become so close to) with such a raw truthfulness not usually revealed on national TV, and I understood instantly. Dancers communicate through their bodies and those contestants are paired together under extreme circumstances and have to develop a most intimate creative relationship, the extent we could only imagine.
With that one answer, Jessie connected straight into me, and in that instant, the rich compression of all her emotions and experiences were revealed, it overwhelmed me.

Boy, am I ever sucked in…can you see why I can’t have a TV in my house – I’m much too vulnerable.

But, being a yogi, and a contemplative person who is always exploring my own reactions, i can't just watch and enjoy. I must delve into why I enjoy. What is this program revealing to me about myself. Interesting stuff is starting to emerge as I plug into my subconscious and tease this out further.
The pull of this program for me excites an enormous human yearning to live life to the full, to express emotion, to be real, to experience the incredible highs that come when our natural urge to express and communicate is channelled through a creative force (eg. dance, art, music) and then brought to fruition through hard work, discipline and endurance.

Is this missing from my life? Am I unconsciously seeking from those dancers the inspiration of youth, a hidden desire to shake off the cobwebs of middle age comfort and wake up to Life?

Yoga fulfils this to a certain degree because it takes me into unfamiliar territory where I keep discovering a constantly deepening inner universe, where I connect to an unknown but strangely familiar force, but yoga's a solo journey and the juiciness of Life comes from our interaction with others. How long can you dance with yourself? Perhaps I seek to merge and dance with the force of Life itself.

Although there’s a lot going on in my outer life which is more than enough to manage, amidst all of that, my soul yearns to deeply connect with Life, to sing and dance on the brink of ecstasy, shed tears of joy and grief, love fully without boundaries and express truth without compromise.
Dance is spontaneous and creative, and the product is ephemeral. You dont' have anything to show for it when it's finished except a feeling and a memory. It'snot like painting or music where you can view or hear the product of your creative impulse.
Dance exists only in the moment.
Another reminder to live my life fully, only in the moment. The moment is all there ever is.

Gee...if I hadn’t started writing down my train of thought about a TV program I’ve been sucked into, this basic lesson would have gone unnoticed.

This has been an interesting post for me, an unexpected, unedited ramble, but the simple act of writing freely with no agenda or direction while the mixed up thoughts are unravelling themselves, has been a very revealing and psychotherapeutic process.

So thank you to the producers, directors and participants of that program for bringing all this to my attention.

I will now have to get up off this chair and dance for my life.


gartenfische said...

Good for you!!


gartenfische said...

p.s. I love your picture!

nobodhi said...

The picture is my new version of Virabhadrasana B!

gartenfische said...

Wow, if that's how you look in virabhadrasana, I'm envious! I don't think I look beautiful in that pose!

Lois said...

Interesting to know.