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the act of something new

published: 2013-03-31

I sit next to a dancer in the darkness. She is my teacher and we see each other every week. But how well do we know each other? What do our bodies reveal in movement, gestures? In the vulnerable act of trying something you aren’t sure you can do.
We are at a ballet performance, Romeo and Juliet. I had carefully expressed a hidden dream: perhaps we could make a dance film based on Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet? Yes, she said, we could try. So I expressed the same to a director, more boldly this time. She also said we could try. A cameraman. A producer. They all said we could.
So there we sit looking down at the dancers on the stage and the conductor’s interaction with the symphony orchestra. My mind drifts to acts, conflicts, dramatic tension, foreshadowing. I wonder about the pacing in the music, the build of tension, the repetition of themes. Five acts or three, death and eroticism, fate and reason, youth and decay.
Then my teacher turns to me in the dark, she whispers how Juliet is like a bird. She comments on the lighting. How beautiful it is. How Romeo is struggling. Not because the pacing is too slow, but because he lacks confidence to fill up the time given to him.
And as she says all this I think: yes, we can try. This is when I love my profession most.

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