OK, for everyone out there not currently on spring break, my lord, was this week s-l-o-w or what?! Maybe it’s just because I have a super-fun weekend mapped out (drumming! dancing!) and am anticipating the excitement, but every day this week has felt like a ho-hum Tuesday.
But finally! Here we go. It’s Friday, it’s the 13th, and I have a hodge-podge list of five things that have peppered my (interminable!) week with some color and life.
(1) As if a nod to my I Am Woman post from a few weeks ago, my Old Lady Friend™ Carrol sent me the link to this video, 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art.
It’s a hypnotic 3-minute compilation of female art subjects through the centuries, edited artfully itself so that each image morphs into the next. To me, it’s visual art presented in a dance-like manner. It’s also just fun to see the painting styles and female figures transition as the years go by.
(2) Next isn’t a video but a blog that I am excited to add to my Google Reader: Dancemeditation.
The blog is maintained by Dunya Dianne McPherson, whose book, Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh, is currently on my nightstand. It’s been on my Amazon wishlist ever since I purchased Gabrielle Roth’s Sweat Your Prayers (which has essentially become my bible) and it popped up on my “You Might Like…” list.
Dunya is a former professional ballerina who turned to Sufism and now teaches her brainchild Dancemeditation™, “a unique, integrated movement meditation system for self-discovery, healing, and evolution.”
The way she writes about the human body is utterly fascinating and captivating, and it is hard not to roll my spine and rock my pelvis along to her words. They are the words of someone so at home with her body, so familiar with every tendon, vein, and cell within; some chapters have such a deep and sensual feel that they read more like erotic literature, a kind of “kinesthetic pornography,” perhaps.
This post on simple side-to-side rolling will get you moving.
(3) Switching gears, we now move to Main Street, U.S.A. for some Disney dancing!
Posted on Disney Parks’ official blog, this video features Barbara, a Walt Disney World cast member who has taken her role as Main Street hostess to a new level by just doin’ her thang during the daily parades. If I knew there was an opportunity out there for me to both (a) work in Disney World, and (b) dance my heart out every afternoon, then Barbara would be out of a job. … OK, so I’m a bit jealous, but I love Barbara for bringing dance and Disney together in the upbeat way she does. :-)
(4) The last two items go hand in hand. First is the 2011 Emmy-winning choreography “This Bitter Earth” from Mia Michaels, which appeared on Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance.
I’m going through a bit of a SYTYCD drought here (still more than a month to go before Season 9 starts!), so I’ve been filling the holes by watching clips of past seasons on YouTube. This particular dance about aging is just so powerful, poignant, and kind of sad. It’s a hit-you-in-the-gut piece, no doubt why it was nominated for and won the Emmy. The three variations of a simple rocking motion at 1:14 are just beautiful.
(5) Staying on that theme of aging is the video that’s been going viral all over Facebook, “Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Hearing Music From His Era.”
As a dancer, music has such a profound role in my life, and it is so comforting to know that the brain has the ability to store the passionate, joy-filled memories associated with a particular tune. This man, described as “inert and unresponsive,” comes ALIVE when exposed to music from his younger years. His reactions at 4:00 and 5:15 are a bit Awakenings…but so hopeful and smile-inducing. And I love that there’s a whole movement behind this kind of therapy: http://www.musicandmemory.org!
Now this has me wondering…what music from “my era” would make me come alive 50+ years from now? Hmm…
Comment with an online video/website/photo that’s been stirring your soul lately!