Surfing the Sound Waves
I often watch dancers from all over the world and from every different style.
Ballet, jazz, tapp, contemporary, ballroom, street latin, Latin American, Argentine tango, lindy hop, breakdance and the list goes on and on. I really love watching the new innovation’s and creation’s that people come up with. I love watching the new ways they create to express themselves and their innermost feelings and thoughts. I can identify with most and I can sort of understand others as it gives me a sense of knowing and understanding that the world is headed in the right direction.
There are those other’s though that I sit and watch and have absolutely no idea of what’s going on. They don’t get to me and I cannot for the life of me connect to them in any way shape or form. This saddens me and I have often thought to myself, “Am I just losing the plot? Am I just getting old?” I often ask other people about these performances and they say the same thing, they too cannot connect or understand them. I have sat and thought about these performances many times and watched them again and again and can only come up with one answer,
I have sat and thought about these performances many times and watched them again and again and can only come up with one answer, they are liars… they are not telling the truth about the music or what it’s actually saying. Now before you all jump down my throat and yell at me for being so judgemental and one-eyed, I would like an opportunity to explain what I mean by lying dancers. I have always been a champion of dance. I have wanted dancers to get ahead in the world like every other art form and have wanted only the best for the dance world but sometimes I have been bitterly disappointed. I have found that sometimes dancers are simply doing it for the money or the fame, and not for the love of dance.
When I sit and watch dancers perform I don’t just watch the choreography and I don’t just listen to the choice of music. I don’t just look at the costuming and wonder if it’s appropriate for the performance and I don’t just look at what the dancers or the couple is trying to say. I also look at the ability and age levels of the performers and find out how long they have been dancing for, what they want from dance and where they will take it in the future. All this information goes into account for me but, here is the most important aspect of dance that stands out for me above all else.
Are they telling the truth? Is the performer telling me what the music is saying? Is the couple able to convey the thoughts feelings and intentions of the composers, artists, singers, songwriters? Is the dancer brave enough to listen to the music and tap into the soul and energy of the piece then be able to move in a way that moves the audience completely to the point of emotion?
When a great piece of music is written, sung and produced there is a kind of magic that happens. When the piece was written, the performers of the music created that piece of music because of something that has happened to them at that time. It may have been happy or sad, they may have been angry at the world because of war or elated because of a birth of a child. No matter what it was, those thoughts, emotions, and intentions have been injected into their music. This has happened because of the power or thought and feelings combined. That is why some songs have endured years and years of popularity while others are simply listened to and kinda placed to one side. When the dancer then chooses a piece of music to dance to and they choose one of the great ones, they take on a great responsibility.
They now must convey the message of sound through the medium of movement. They must be courageous enough to really listen for the emotions and thoughts which are embedded inside the music. They must ignore all other distractions and make sure that the artist’s message get’s told perfectly through their bodies. The dancer now takes on the role of the messenger and the only way the dancer can do this is by surrendering their bodies to the music. If they are able to let go of their own thought’s and feeling’s and become the vessel, then they will move in way’s they have never understood. If they are able to say “to hell with what’s right” and really interpret the music in what it’s saying, then they have the ability to move a whole audience. When a dancer dances with these intentions, then they are dancing truthfully, honestly and with integrity. They are not simply dancing technically but they are literally ‘surfing the sound waves’.
I often watch dancers these day’s and there are many amazing new dancers on the scene. Many new dance schools popping up everywhere and many budding new teachers trying their hand at teaching. Some do it for the money, others for the love of dance. What I am always on the look out for is that honest dancer. The one male or female from any culture or nationality, that can show me what’s truly in their soul.
When a dancer can rid themselves of convention and move to what the music is saying completely, then they have the ability to give people what they are truly coming to see. The dancer gives the audience a glimpse of what humans are all looking for that they cannot find in alcohol, drugs, sex or any other pleasure-seeking activity or pastime. The dancers give the audience a glimpse at the idea of freedom.
Freedom from resentment and regret.
Freedom from the boundaries of their own mind.
Freedom from their peers who keep telling them that they cannot do this and that.
Freedom from the conventions of the world.
Freedom from their cultures which say ‘a boy must do this and a girl cannot do that’.
Freedom from the fear of embarrassment and above all, freedom from the thoughts of being judged and assessed.
Freedom to feel, think, and move as their soul’s please, and as the universe intended us to in the beginning.
Now that’s worth dancing for…