A student's writing this week showed me a thing or two:
"...ironically, the inner self [Ruth] St. Denis refers to is actually very much so a self that is inspired by community, because I think dance really needs community to feed it. Self-expression ultimately needs to be truly expressed."
I sat at the Farmer's Market today. That's the thing to do - sit and watch other people, instead of making the round of stalls and ending up the customer-performer. A bluegrass band with mandolin was playing "Orphan Girl" by Gillian Welch and John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery" - both songs I know and love courtesy of my southern-raised friend Kathryn Sparks, a stunning tall dancer who knows how to shake a leg. And lo and behold, a fiddle song started and the tall Vermont woman I'd been watching in the T-shirt and jeans got up and started dancing, wild and free, right in front of everybody. A skirted, booted woman joined her; they caught up children and swung them around. A couple more emboldened ones joined in; the women and children danced. I envied them. To get up and dance like that, in public, in broad daylight! I don't know how they had the courage to do it. It must be that this is their home, their community, and they know how to shake it up.
I love the expression "dancing with abandon." Abandoning what? I could make a long list.