Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Of left feet and vicarious feelings

I've pretty much accepted the fact that I won't win any awards for dancing the way that Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his role in "My Left Foot." There are some things I can do passably well, but they're pretty much eclipsed by the myriad things I do horribly -- such as dancing. Sure, I can do the slow cheek-to-cheek thing. (But that really doesn't require any talent, does it?) I can also do a fair imitation of Beyonce and shake this fat, sorry excuse for a booty, but that's not the kind of dancing that I'm referring to. (And please note that I am not in any way trying to imply that Beyonce's tush movements don't belong in the realm of dance!)

I don't have much experience in this area of the performing arts. I can't even recall being asked by any guy to dance at parties in high school (but maybe this was because I was taller than most of them). I've always been in awe of people who do it well (like my first bf; he wasn't only intelligent, he was a killer on the dance floor too). Then there are people like Michael Jackson. He very well could be what they accuse him of being when it comes to his... ummm... choice of bedroom companions, but that doesn't take away from the fact that thr guy sure knows how to move! Still, this isn't the kind of dancing that enthralls me.

The tango scene in the film "Scent of a Woman"; the final scene in "Dirty Dancing"; and especially, the man and the woman in the video of Josh Groban's song "Per Te":

These are examples of the kind of dancing that makes me want to weep -- not because I envy their grace (and I do) -- but because it seems like they're doing something so intimately and so passionately together. It's like for the duration of the dance, the rest of the world doesn't exist -- nothing and no one else does, only the two of them. Each one is the other's whole world; focused only on expressing what's in one's heart and soul to the other, immersed only in what the other is feeling. The intensity of emotions projected by their movements is what captivates me (especially since I know it's a snowball's chance in hell that I'll be able to dance that way).

Through this wonderful medium, these dancers express the same powerful, raw emotions that an actor would with his lines, a poet would with her words, a singer would with her music, or an artist would with his paints. To me, this kind of dancing has a spiritual and emotional dimension, something that connects two people in more ways than just the physical. Not only are they moving together, they're dancing together. Which is just like saying, "they're not having sex, they're making love."

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