Well, here we are in 2012! It’s always a good feeling at the beginning of a new year, the world is ours for the taking, right? Anything is possible! Although our arbitrary system of numbering the cycles of seasons really shouldn’t have any impact on how things are actually laid out in the world, I guess a new number puts us in a new frame of mind. And if we take stock in mind over matter, well then, we’ve arrived at a wonderful time, when people are optimistic and eager to accomplish. I will say there is something new afoot this year, and I am very excited about it, but I can’t say anything about it yet…(sorry)
A recent uplifting moment happened just the other day when I had an opportunity to watch a demonstration by a wonderful group of young dancers from Uganda. “The Children of Uganda” are here on what they call their Tour of Light. They are an organization that helps these youngsters by giving them opportunities to perform their culture’s dance and music across the world. Their song and dance was so pure and raw and full of joy that you couldn’t help but smile at these teenagers dancing their hearts out, most of them who come from tragedy ridden families. Fellow SFB dancers Sarah Van Patten and Frances Chung, along with an ex-SFB dancer Miriam Rowan, organized a fundraiser in the fall that enabled The Children of Uganda to tour to San Francisco. Thank you to them and all the other dancers who in turn helped these Ugandan children make their Tour of Light possible. I had seen a video before, but there was nothing like seeing them in person and feeling the beat of the drum in my own chest. Even so, here is a short video I shot of the performance:
Their performance is something that I will take with me into this year, remembering never to take for granted my ability to dance and perform. I want to feel like those kids, free and joyful. Ballet can take on a life of its own, of perfection and self-criticism, and of course those things help us achieve greatness, but at the same time we can’t forget what it was that drew us to dance in the first place. In Mark Morris’ new ballet, Beaux, we have an airplane move that’s just like kids running around with their arms to the side, banking into curves and everything. It’s a nice chance to let that little kid out for a moment, and just enjoy the freedom of something as simple as moving our bodies to music.