You cross the room with your arms behind you, feet pointed, torso lowered and nearly parallel to the floor, or else upright and elegant, powerful and twisting, your eyes shut and your mouth smiling that smile full of joy and brightness—your body serving you in dance. It’s a wonder the light shining from inside you doesn’t blind us all. But now and then it does.
Soon another smile takes over you, one of inwardness. Yet it isn’t a smile exactly, this I realize later at other, deeper dance sessions—the face slackens, and at the same time engages all thirty-three muscles tremblingly, revealing (and reveling in) a series of grimaces, ecstasies, and moans, one after another or all at once. A mood face: intimate, open, in the midst of surrender, in the aftermath of conquest. We see the orgasmic in others but sometimes hardly in ourselves. The nakedness in a musician’s performance, for example, is so terrible and keen; even the shyest find release in their fingertips or their lips, and, whether onstage or in an empty rehearsal studio, manage to center themselves in their art—but do they see this, beyond the notes they play? Likewise, dancers expose a portion of their soul during performance; the soul has been knit and knit in preparation, only to be unraveled like ribbon when shared with others. It is good, this unraveling; it is fitting, this unfitting, a daily recurrence in dance, in emotion, in words. But do we see this in ourselves? Do we see what’s been unraveled?
I know now why we have become friends: we are witness to each other’s unravelings.