Crying

One cannot dance together properly unless some tears have been shed otherwise the body is still bound between too limited parameters, the potential inhabiting of the stage and all the spaces relevant to the work (kitchen, studio, dressing room, anatomical interior, psychology, shamanic interior…) fall short unless tears have been shed. The company has not inhabited each other enough so therefore is not a company. All the psyches must crumble away enough so as to expose essences of each person viscera, souls, vices and virtues. Tears help this. They do not at all need to be tears of sorrow, tears of joy and laughter are the most useful (especially as tears of joy are often a leaking out of the sorrow in a more user friendly format). As a young dancer under the guidance of a sadistic ballet master who dug his finger nails into thumbs placed below the ballet bar (one must only place the hand on the ballet bar, gripping it with the thumb is forbidden and leads to poor technique), he moved onto coins leaving traces of the design of the coin on our 10 year old knuckles, he threatened to use pins if we did not respond to his first two levels of punishment. One boy cried when the teacher dug the coin in, the boy only cried a little, the teacher stayed just within the boundary of abuse acceptable in the 1980s, but later that week the boy cried a great deal more when the teacher tried to manipulate his shoulders downward. He cried too much, to the level of making it clear the teacher had now overstep the boundary of reasonable abuse, the boy had severe sunburn under his sweat soaked white t shirt. This boy was not part of the laughing crew (we were not laughing at him we laughed to relieve our fear we might be next), there were three of us in the laughing crew. A mere raise of the eyebrow could set us off into spasms of laughter. Somehow we suppressed it when the teacher faced us. There was a sense of fetish that this teacher introduced us boys to, other than the above mentioned “disciplining” it was nothing at all veering towards sexual abuse as some may interpret. It was more the fetishism of virtuosity, connected the technical base of a good tendu, to how to do the tricks usually only taught to the males in dance. Somehow it was deeper than some macho thing, there was a sense of teaching the performance of male gender but it was simpler and in a way more innocent than that, it was utilising the fact the males do have more muscle power generally than females and therefore can jump higher, spin faster and so on. At it’s best it was teaching how grace can be introduced to power, or how precision and knowledge can generate effortlessness, or high energy efficiency. In this sense our humour became more refined, or more insane depending how you see it. In the following years we shared more tearful laughs, and gradual we shared which girls we had crushes on. The basis that the teacher had laid for extremism facilitated the openness we had at detailing just how badly we craved our crushes. We also shared a hopelessness of doing nothing about our crushes. The advice of one of the older sisters was good, she suggested talking to them, get them to join our crew. The pain of not having and the release of when you let go somehow. AIDS provided the dance world with a huge amount of pain and of course tears. I am imbricated, imbedded, imbued into the mega dance company of all that have ever been in any kind of dance company through seeing some men die, pass away from our community. One who was very kind to all us young dancers, no sadist and in no way abusive, a rainbow. RIP

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