Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dancing with Baryshnikov

The night before having this dream I asked my dream generator to give me the dream I need, and this is what I got.

The Dream: He isn’t doing his famous leaps or anything outstanding. It is more a sort of walking, a dancer sort of walking, where the trick is not to look like a dancer. At first I’m disappointed; I want drama. I want to see the impossible. “This looks so natural,” I think.

Baryshnikov chooses me as a partner. My job is to anchor him. I stand in the center as he dances around me, holding my hand. I use my arm muscles to steady him and, while it takes some effort on my part, I think he is being careful not to tax my strength. I could handle more force, I think. I could do more.

Interpretation: In the dream, my first reaction is disappointment in the dancer’s (my inner artist’s) performance. I’m an on-looker at this point, wanting to see the leaps of “White Nights” or “Turning Point.” Is he getting old? I wonder. (Am I?) Then I come to see his natural-appearing movement as the artistry it is: the confidence to appear to be doing nothing—but just try it!

When I “help” he is considerate, but I realize I could do more: as could he! I’m left wondering what’s the right amount of effort, the right amount of display? What’s the relationship between effort and performance? Is my dream telling me to simplify? In other words, not to push it?

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