Caitlin Trainor: What is Dance?

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I am not sure if I can put a tag on what dance is exactly, not sure that I can pinpoint what makes sense on a stage with an audience watching, waiting….. but on a grand scale, I think that life itself seems to be one great big cosmic dance.

I don’t necessarily believe in the God that sits on a cloud and fixes the maladies of mankind, but I can say that I have reverence for the life of the universe evident through movement. The planets, hula-ing their great looping ellipses, the microscopic vibrating orgy of fission and fusion, the crashing momentum of wind and waves, babies pressing out of bellies, and even fallen leaves in their slow crumbling decay; all seem part of an infinite and immeasurable dance.

Dancers, wrestling with physics every day, harness and refine the forces of nature. Rather than becoming masters of theory, dancers directly experience centrifugal and centripetal force, levity, gravity, momentum, mass, inertia and so on. The dances of the stage, codified, controlled, and personal, are a different entity.

Art involves artifice, manipulation, and choices- some successful, some less so. But I believe that one evening of art that can stir the soul is worth every failed endeavor. Maybe it is these moments, when a dance on a stage steals breath and draws gooseflesh, that lift the spirit beyond the walls of the theater and into the wild thrumming rhythm of life.

– Caitlin Trainor

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Editorhttp://www.dayeight.org
Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon is a project of the not-for-profit Day Eight.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is beautiful. I love to consider that “one evening of art that can stir the soul is worth every failed endeavor.” I honestly believe that. Thanks for putting words to these feelings that I’m sure most dancers can relate to.

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