Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dance, dance, dance, dance

I have a feeling that I am blending my lighter aka "little things" posts and my deeper philosophical rants rather than my initial goal of alternating them each day, but I guess that's what flexibility and letting go is all about, and in this case, what dance is all about.

I proposed the choice to myself today to either talk about the shock and horror I watched on TVO last night: The World Before Her - a documentary showcasing two extreme approaches as to how young women define themselves in India (Participants in Miss India pageants versus Hindu nationalism training camps), or the joy that is So You Think You Can Dance -US version (Dance Canada was cancelled - boo).

So, while I highly recommend the documentary (click on the link above to find out more), I opted for dance talk.

I was not having a superb day yesterday. Not because anything really bad happened but because not much really happened at all. Recently I read an article in the York U magazine (intended for the person who used to occupy my house - I did not put it back with an RTS and I suppose that's wrong, but I digress) on new research on boredom. John Eastwood and his partners after doing extensive research define boredom as "an aversive state of wanting, but being unable to engage in satisfying activity" (Perspectives on Psychological Science, September 2012). I think the key words here are of course "wanting", "unable" and "satisfying".

So my day, eventhough I accomplished quite a few things, was not ideal. I was unable to engage in what I did want because the parameters of those activities are currently not within my realm of control. So I made it through the day, and was preparing myself for an equally unsatisfying evening, until I turned on the TV.

TV watching usually comes under the category of boredom for me, but every once in a while there is something that both engages and satisfies me.  And as silly as it sounds, last night that was So You Think You Can Dance. It's amazing actually - I laughed (out loud), cried, smiled, felt passion and love, and I was inspired. My sister says we love that show so much because "We have the dance in us".

I would argue of course, we all have the dance in us. It's just a matter of tapping (pun intended) into it. And God forbid, I am going to quote Nietzche five times from a Good Reads page:
  • Without music, life would be a mistake.” 
  • “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” 
  • “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” 
  • “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
  • “I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.”   
And naturally, I will point you in the direction of Joy Division's Transmission performance at the Peel Sessions (1979) which was also so beautifully re-created in the film Control. I have put in links to both. What I love about this is how Ian Curtis slowly let's the dance take him over as he moves through the song. I challenge anyone young or old to not get up and dance to this. Admittedly I used to refer to this song as "Dance to the Radio".

As we evolved to be upright, two-legged beings, it allowed us to do many great things - including waving our hands in all sorts of crazy directions, wiggling our hips, shrugging our shoulders - that's you Dad! And, if you actually watch yourself dance you can't help but exercise a smile too, unless you are practicing that sexy, smouldering come hither look, which now that I called you on it, you are going to smile the next time you try that on the dance floor!

The audition stars of So You Think You Can Dance have obviously made this a career choice, in some cases not even a choice because they know they had to abandon themselves to what they feel is their true purpose in life, and I felt inspired to do the same just watching them. Check out the auditons and stories of "BluPrint" and Tucker Knox here:

So really - watching this made my day a whole lot better and of course, I got up and danced while I was watching. It had a much greater influence on my state of mind than any glass of wine could ever, although I believe Nietzche was in favour of both! And I believe him when he says "We should consider everyday lost on which we have not danced at least once" - both in the literal sense and to experience the mind-chaos connection.

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