Come and see, enter here, this is no ordinary hall but a world of stories. Dancers here, lovers there, the stage is set waiting for music grand. Hear the siren call, see the curtains draw, can you not feel it in the air. Feel the heat rise up, heartfelt stories hang bare, waiting for their moment in the light, waiting to be told on a polished wooden floor.
See his stance, shoulders high, as his gaze crosses the floor. Excitement, mystery, he seeks for something not revealed by sight. Someone new, someone bold, he scans the room for a partner in crime. Burnt sienna, wreath of hair, his eyes alight and time stands still. Feel the earth, feel it shift, a question leaves his lips. Will she dance, dance with him, will she sees what story unfolds.
Not a princess here, queen of this soft night, skills born of blood sweat and tears. Her equal is sought, take her hand and lead, so her art she will create. Hold her strong and tight, let her burn so bright, the center stage is hers and she wants the light. Dance her life and love, dance her passion spent, she hears the question fall. Will she dance with him, will he be the light, “Gladly” explodes from her hope filled lips and so two now enter the floor.
Now they meet, now they touch, and introductions must be made. Him the lead he takes, she obtains the follow, and the conversation waxes between them. Not of words, not of speech, this is a connection through touch. Can you hear the buzz, can you taste the vibe, as they each take their measure. Words of trust, passion too, excitement and nerves flow through their arms and the dance begins. She feels his green step, she notices all, and she senses his hidden strength and creativity. She has skill, confidence, and he courageously leaps to the challenge uncertain if he can meet her skill.
Hear the verse, see the story, now danced on a blank wooden canvas. Can you see, can you tell, his character laid bare for her to observe. Old and young, wise and green, he attempts an art form of which he is not well versed. Not for him, glory or fame, he seeks to make the world beautiful one piece at a time. Wonder seen, ideals espied , this young swain knows the goal but not the path. Words his tools, dreams his paint, he see the links between words and feet yet inexperience plagues his steps.
Hear the verse and tale, rhyme and cadence join, painted in movement and beat for all to attend. Can you tell her story, told with gleeful pride, she is a dancer of renown known by all but him. Smart and bold with charm, allure smites all comers, she knows her art and this picture needs painting. Deep and lasting pride, life fervor and love, is the standard she has set for those who wish to compete. Symmetry and grace, principals refined, she knows the paths to walk yet she can not yet see her goal. Dance her brush and stroke, heart her paint and print, she know what needs be done yet still she searches for excitement and mystery.
Alas, as the chorus clashes in the background and so do his feet. Discord approaches with his faltering steps. With an uncertain lead he now understand he is not her equal and he knows not what to do. Doubt clouds his judgment and fear blinds his purpose. She now leads, taking up the slack. She has been here before, another partner unable to continue the quest. This dance may have ended on this very chorus, two dancers with no more to paint and their conversation muted to apologies. But the song continues and this dance has life yet.
Three a beat, dum de dum, and our hero knows it is insufficient for the challenge. Five a count and beat, dum de dum de dum, and our heroine knows it is too much for him to match. But wait right here now, it is MAMBO arrived. Our young swain dug deep and inspiration did leap. Dum de d-dum de dum, step now doubled in speed, she senses the change and thrilling tension enters the air. Steps of beauty so fair, bodies connect so close, and two now dance as one as people stop and stare. Time is static for now, time lies dormant this floor, as our couple twirls and spins lost to the music and lost to each other. He is not her equal, she is not his equal, opposites, different yet the same, now joined in passion drawing a rich tapestry upon a polished wooden floor
But all things must end and a song is but five minutes. When they surface for air our couple struggles. Lost in their picture for a song their fall to earth has no soft landing. They support each other for one brief moment, steadying themselves, keeping each other upright and sharing quiet comments. We can not tell if their story continues as they leave the floor, we can not see into the future. Will they dance again? Who knows? The painting left lingering in this hall suggests so. The tapestry left in the mind of the watchers depicts a tale worth telling and such tales always hold more.
This was a particularly hard piece to write, I’ve never attempted something with this much rhythm. So a special thanks to Eduardo who provided some of the original inspiration and with his permission I rewrote his original article in prose-poem form.
Dance: A Metaphor for Life and Love