Thoughts on Dancing

Recently I’ve been pondering the symbolism of dance, specifically as produced by a man and a woman. On the surface, of course, one must acknowledge the parallel to courtship. It may well be that dancing emerged directly from courtship rituals – indeed, dancing is known to be an intrinsic attractor between mates of a great many species. I tend to think that for humans, at least, there must be something below this surface. Sex for us is not merely reproduction, and our liaisons are not merely physical. Should it not also be that dancing represents something far deeper?

We are not like the Albatross, who dance in a certain way once a year for their partners upon reuniting. Our displays are spontaneous and for anyone or no one, be they life partner or random acquaintance. We have rules, but we seek to break them as early and as often as possible. If our dances really did begin as a form of courtship, they have now grown so wild as to be a mockery of it.

This mockery, or even just the idea of it, is key to understanding our nature. We are self-styled transcendent animals. Ultimately rooted in mortality, genes and the biosphere, we nevertheless grow souls and look for meaning in our myriad of existential constructs. We are at once superior to other life and inferior for thinking we are so. This ultimate human irony manifests clearly in dance, which even as one of our great arts is still just a way for us to connect. Even as I explore the profundities of meaning and expression, I am doing so as a man and with a woman. My biology is the inevitable truth underneath of whatever else I think I may be.

I choose to embrace our bittersweet reality when I dance and when I live. I choose to embody a man with a woman and a soul next to another. Our need for each other, ingrained and imprinted, will prevent us from reaching a full understanding. We accept this and move forward, together, in life and on the dance floor. We embrace the simultaneous pain of separation and thrill of connection. By embodying what we are, we represent something more. What do we represent? All things. Anything. The dance is as unlimited as all the knowledge and passion we have accrued through the ages.

火になった想いの褪せぬ瞳の世
ひになった おもいのあせぬ ひとみのよ

we became fire
whose image won’t fade
gazing deeply

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