...A Chorus Line struck a deep chord with theater goers.
Today the Music in the Mirror started playing in my head. The song relates Cassie's journey in the show from seasoned Gypsy and notable soloist having to return to New York jobless, homeless and fighting for her dance life to be part of the Chorus. In a beautifully crafted number she has to confront her demons, her ex and her love of her craft and everything she had to give up for that singular passion....
"All I ever wanted was the music and the mirror and the chance to dance for you."
What's so powerful about the emotions pouring from this bare stage with a single line is the performer offers the cry of every person looking for permission to dance....
In her Peabody winning Martha Graham in Performance the dancer discusses the craft of Dance.
There comes a moment when she looks at you in the mirror and you realize that she is looking at you and recognizing you as herself. It is through you. Her love. her hope. Her fear. Her terror is to be expressed and there is a moment of fear on your own part. Dread. Sense of hazard feeling that perhaps you haven’t done quite enough work; perhaps you should have gone back to the studio and worked again. Because that which you do not want to do is to fail in either clarity or in passion. You give all your life to doing this one thing… it sounds grim… it sounds frightening. It isn’t. (beat) it has a great gaiety at times and a great wonder but at the same time there is that need to go back to the studio. Dance is communication and the great desire is to speak clearly and beautifully and with inevitability. And this is true of all of us. It’s true of me it’s true of every member of my company.
A dancer’s world is the heart of man. With its joys and its hopes and its fears and its loves… and a dancers world is arrived at by days and days of work, weeks of work, and years of work. But there is one wonderful line of Saint John Purse and it expresses more clearly than anything any of us can say, the privilege of the instant but he says you have so little time to be born to the instant.
May we all find that space in our hearts full of all we can handle.... I'm giving you permission to say "Hey listen they are playing my song" and dance. Wholeheartedly.