I Cried At A Dance Concert

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I have been a fan of and a subscriber to Hubbard Street Dance company for many years now. Row M, seats 2 and 4. Those are my seats. For years my ex-husband and I sat there. Now I share the tickets with a dear friend. There is something so powerful for me about seeing music interpreted visually through movement. And I love to watch their strong, supple dancer’s bodies contort and express themselves as they create art. At least one piece per concert will take my breath away. Guaranteed.

Last Friday’s concert was no exception. The second work on the program was Waxing Moon by Robyn Mineko Williams. As the piece started I was immediately engaged. There were three dancers, two men and one woman, representing a love triangle. The movements were somehow minimalist and passionate at the same time. One repeated motive, where the female dancer was held horizontally with her legs and arms outstretched by one of the men who spun her slowly was especially striking to me. It was a very unnatural and rigid state for her to be in but somehow it conveyed incredible emotion. It was as if she was numb and he was trying to spin some life back into her.

As I became more involved with the piece my feelings crept up on me and big, wet, heavy tears started streaming down my face. It was dark in the theater and I let the tears flow. I can’t pinpoint why I was crying. It could have been about the fact that I used to go to Hubbard Street with my ex and even though it’s so, so good to be divorced I still could be mourning some loss of the marriage. It could have been that I saw the same passion on stage that I experience with a lover who I am kept apart from because of circumstances beyond either of our controls. It could have been PMS. It could have been a combination of all three. It could have been something else entirely. 

In the last few years of my marriage I didn’t let myself feel much of anything. I know now that it was a coping mechanism and it kept me sane. In fact I didn’t even realize I was numb until the marriage was over. And I’ll never forget when I started to feel again. I could feel a breeze on my arm that gave me the sensation of tiny needles pricking me. I could see colors more vividly, so bright that they would hurt my eyes. I could hear music on a level so deep that would nearly overwhelm me. I could feel the intense energy of a man’s lips on mine as my sexuality was reawakened. And when I see a beautiful work of art, such as a dance composition, I can now let it take me to a place of deep emotion. I feel alive and sometimes I cry.

After the piece was over I took a deep breath, wiped my face with a tissue and had a look at the program notes. And according to the notes, the work “contemplates the process of becoming” and the protagonist “considers the possibility for his future”. Over the last year as I have gone through the process of separation and divorce I have definitely been working through the process of becoming. Becoming a strong, independent woman. Becoming a sexual being. Becoming free. Becoming powerful. Becoming the person that I want to be. Becoming a writer. Becoming myself. And the possibility for my future – anything is possible now.

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