This year, I was invited to put a piece in a University of New Mexico Dance Program Alumni Concert (I graduated from UNM with a M.A. in Dance History and a M.F.A. in Choreography). The concert is a big deal and I am truly honored to be included. Given the theme of the show, I've chosen to revamp two of my older numbers. The first is a dance based on synchronized swimming performed to the song "Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet" by The Andrew Sisters.
For the second number, I am hoping to reconstruct a duet of "sleepwalking" done to the Emily Browning version of "Sweet Dreams" from the "Sucker Punch" soundtrack. There are two problems, however. One, I need to turn the duet into an ensemble number in less than a months time. And two, I don't have a video recording of the first version. It is going to be a challenge.
So, in honor of my first day-long rehearsal, this weeks symbol is dancing. In many cultures, dancing is a symbol of ecstasy. This is seen in the whirling dervishes of Islam, the Dionysian and Bacchic dances of antiquity, and in African masquerade. It is believed that the trance state brought on by these ritual dances allows the participate to communicate or be possessed by divine spirits. Dance can also represent the cyclical nature of the universe. The depiction of Shiva's Wheel of Flames as the Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance, symbolizes the rhythmic movement of the cosmos whereas round dances like English Morris dancing are thought to help the sun on its path through the heavens. Dance is also used as celebration and, as in the Chinese Lion dance, to ward off evil spirits.