Some cumulative thoughts, from a while back


I joined this project because a past teacher of mine was a Merce Cunningmham fanatic, and I figured that it would be worthwhile to spend a semester getting to know his work personally – not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with his company members and choreography.

Along the way this semester, I was struck by the sheer number of other Merce Cunningham fanatics I came across: those who were absolutely in love with his work. One of them wowed me by saying that she found nothing more interesting than Merce’s work, and that she has spent the past 40-or-so years watching it at every chance she got.

And hearing this, I was impressed. I certainly appreciated Merce Cunningham’s body of work, his innovations, et cetera; I did not, however, have that visceral connection to the material myself. I just trusted that this was somehow meaningful, and went along with it all.

Then, the day after our lecture-demonstration, I ran into one of my best friends on the middle of campus, and she told me that she loved the performance. I thanked her, appreciating her support; but it didn’t end there. She told me how weird and beautiful she found it all – it was “living art,” she said, with so much to experience, and so much that was just truly interesting. The control of the dancers, the abililty to enjoy the shapes and bodies…

And I was so amazed to hear her say this, because this is was exactly what I had learned intellectually to be true about Merce’s work, and there she was feeling it as an instinctive response to the work. To know that our demonstration prompted that response from her made me know that this work is in fact worthwhile, that it is meaningful, that it is important, that it is beautiful. And to have been a part of it was, well, incredible.

Letter from Meg Harper


Meg Harper, the oldest Cunningham rehearsal director and thus our primary source of knowledge about Merce in the prime of his dancing career, wrote this letter to the students following the April 27th showing. I quote it here in full:


May 2, 2012


Dear Yale Dance Theater Company,


It is Wednesday, and Jennifer and I are thinking about you, wondering what might be happening to each of you, a week after the exquisite end of our journey together. Your work through this long period, from January until last Friday afternoon, has given me more pleasure than any Cunningham/repertory project in my recent memory.  You welcomed Jennifer and I with such fresh faces, always so considerate and accommodating.  I was immediately struck by how open you all were, and respectful, even if you had doubts.  Doubts and ambivalence are good things, especially if they are examined carefully, as you did.  There are so many ways to work, and the Cage/Cunningham aesthetic is just the one we were presenting to you.  I never have a “goal” in situations like this, but I do have hopes.  And one huge hope was that you would embrace these extraordinary ideas and gather strength from them.


The time spent in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium was so special.  I had anxiety about how you would deal with the space, with so little time to make it feel like “your space, your home”.  You took to it like horses to a field, and suddenly, it was a place where Merce Cunningham and John Cage’s work opened out from the floor and walls as naturally as the movement of the athletes with their basketballs.  Performing in alternative spaces was such an integral part of our dancing lives, so to share this with you was Kool.


Now I get to the mystery.  What ever happened between Thursday afternoon and Friday’s performances?  I knew it was going to be ok, I mean even good, when we left the gym on Thursday.  But it was beyond “good.”  The way each of you danced, sat on the side, entered and exited was so moving to Jen and I, and to the many audience members who know Merce’s work. You brought back into this bright gymnasium the most elemental and moving aspects of their art.  There was a truth and realness to your actions.  I kept looking to you for help in my speaking role, saying to myself, “look at them, at what they are doing; stay as focused and real as they are, and it will be all right.”


Plus, it was such a good time we had. So many big laughs, especially towards the end when we knew the “jig was up”.  Each one of you, as beautiful individuals remain in our memory, dancing with total commitment, all of your vital energy focused on the task at hand.  The Payne Whitney Gymnasium has been changed forever, because you brought something to it that it had never experienced before.  Those walls will remember.


Fondly, Meg


some final thoughts


Performing Cunningham in the gym made a huge difference for me — although I had been watching my fellow dancers all semester, I suddenly felt like I was seeing them do something entirely new. Having a little bit of physical distance from what was going on allowed me to visually take the choreography in all at once, instead of digesting it in little parts. A friend of mine said that he thought that Cunningham’s movement was “strange, but in the way that an insect is strange.” I think he really touched on something here: there are all these intricacies and quirks in the movement, and it is sort of fascinating in the way an insect is–all of its little joints fit together so perfectly.

I had been concerned earlier in the semester that maybe his choreography is more interesting for dancers than it is for viewers. Would viewers be able to see the logic of what we were working out? Or would it look completely senseless? In part, I think Cunningham’s geometric use of space and the body prevents his work from pulling apart at the seams–this geometry brings a certain coherence and focus to the work. I also think performing this movement in a space that fits it is really key.
A huge thank you to Meg, Jen & Emily! This was a great semester. Can’t wait to do it again!

Forever New


It dawned on me the other day that what happened on the gymnasium floor at Yale University on Friday, April 27th, 2012, has never happened before and will never happen again. It was singular, in the truest sense of the word. Every movement we dancers made, every step, misstep, leap, or turn of the head, was unique to the very moment it existed. Between the two performances, even though the choreography remained the same (save the few chance-based sections), our movements differed. Maybe we inhaled more on the same arm movement, maybe the sun washed over our faces at a certain point, maybe the audience applauded less after Roaratorio. Each moment was born and died and just as soon created a new moment, so that the relationship between the audience and the dancers, between the dancers’ minds and their bodies, was forever new.

This is the beauty of performance. It can never be a staid object on a wall, hanging on for an eternity, unchanged. Many say this might be the death of performance, but I say it is its saving grace. Sure, we can never truly capture a performance, despite all the photos and videos and ephemera we might compile. But this is what makes the liveness of dance and theater and performance art so incredible: for a certain period of time, our attention is drawn to the moving, acting, performing bodies in front of us. We have to be there, and in being there we recognize that time is passing right before our eyes; we recognize the tension inherent in a moment.

I believe that dance shows this tension more than any other performative form, since it relies on the entirety of the human body, an organism so complex that it seems quite impossible to repeat any one thing in exactly the same way. Even in classical ballet, historically attempting to hide any effort in dancing, there is a certain tension: when Giselle does a simple pique arabesque, she appears to be suspended, and yet she is also moving, breathing, thinking, acting, doing so many things at once that there is indeed a visible, captivating tension, for both the dancer and the audience. I felt this tension in Merce’s work. I feel it whenever I dance, because I know that the step I’m about to do will be over just as I soon as I begin it.

This transience, this fleeting existence, is both frightening and exciting. It means that dance provides a world of endless possibility, forever mutable and new. But it also reminds us of life’s transience, of our own unsure existence, of the fact that everything ends just as it begins. Dance forces us to notice moments in our lives, and in the absence of moments, to notice blocks of time, like the minutes of a pas de deux or the seconds a body rests motionless in space. A dance must always begin and must always end, just as life must begin and end, even though it is a lovely thought to think that Merce might still be dancing away somewhere, hidden behind a curtain or one of Rauschenberg’s set designs. I think he’d agree that what we did at Yale was singular and new in that certain space and place and time. And what a wonderful time it was! Thank you Yale Dance Theater 2012—I’ll remember those fleeting moments forever.

The Magic of Friday


I keep on returning to a thought that recurred several times during our post-performance Q&A sessions: that Cunningham’s pieces create worlds unto themselves.  This seems true in terms of composition—many posts here have discussed their landscape qualities, with several independent parts that sometimes seem to come together in dialogue.  But I think there is also a more profound and immaterial way in which the company connected with one another, as well as with those who had danced this work before us.

While we had rehearsed steadily for months leading up to the performance, everything seemed to come alive in a new way while on stage.  It seemed that until then we had just been laying the groundwork, patching together circuits until we finally hit the switch on Friday.  Part of this was undoubtedly the grandeur of the gym space, the presence of the audience, the mere fact of performance.  And yet something felt very different from the dress rehearsals on Thursday (which were in the same space and had a small audience) to the performances on Friday, and from other shows I have done in the past.  There was a certain magic, a wonderful feeling that I have since tried (largely in vain) to revisit and recapture.

One essential aspect of this seemed to be the tremendous focus demanded by the work, and brought by the dancers.  Given the complexity of Merce’s movement, we had to know it well enough to be able to pour ourselves into the world—to pull ourselves out of our whirring heads and give something of ourselves to each other, and, if not to be expressive in the narrative sense, then at least to be present.  I did not predict how well and precisely things seemed to have come together, but I think from the moment that we stepped on stage—walking out like a sports team that had just been announced—we knew that we were stepping into something very special.  Though we had spoken at some length about their time in the company, Jen and Meg’s lectures and presences strongly conveyed the sense of great privilege that we had to carry this work on our bodies, and to access a tradition that spanned generations.

Emily mentioned that our reconstruction ultimately begged the question, “does dance die?”  As someone who spent most of my childhood dancing the work of Petipa, this question seemed startling.  Of course companies will continue to seek to mount Merce’s work, and his influenced will continue to be felt and discussed in new pieces that are made.  Yet my brief exposure to the company’s history indicates that something remarkable has been lost in the world of dance, and in the lives of so many individuals.  Practice and evolution were vital parts of Merce’s work.   Were Cunningham to be as codified and institutionalized as classical ballet, his work would certainly not “live” in the same sense as before.

Still, the dancers and now teachers who were touched by Merce breathe life into his legacy through their continued work with his and their own pieces.  I know that Cunningham’s work will also continue to live on, in some very small way, in me—from the class exercises that have made their way into my morning routine, to a new hunger and appreciation for modernism in dance.  I am so lucky and grateful to have been touched by that magic, and to step out of our performance much different (and differently!) than before.  If Merce’s adage that no two people walk the same can be extended to how we regard and approach movement generally, then I am certainly a different person for having, however briefly, entered his world.

Final (Maybe) Blogpost


Finally a long-overdue blog post! I began this one shortly after our performance and just finished it up:


The performance on Friday was an amazing experience, and I’ve needed some time to process and allow verbal thoughts to coalesce out of the experiential impressions.

From the moment the showing began, there was an electric and yet sacred energy in the space. Friends I spoke to later about the performance mentioned a sense of severity, which I found interesting because my own experience was so freeing. However, for this post I don’t wish to talk about what our dancing looked like, but rather how it felt. I think it is these impressions that are most transient, and the least able to be recorded.

From an outside perspective, I’d always thought Cunningham’s dancers appeared very serious in performance. Before our learning Roaratorio, it seemed like an imposed demeanor and just a part of the aesthetic. The value of inside research into this choreography is the revelation that this “seriousness” is something far more than a staged appearance: It is an incredible focus on the movement and attentive engagement to the present around you. Most surprisingly, I found it rose organically rather than through a conscious effort on my part. All I had to do was dance.

Nancy Dalva wrote a wonderful and thorough response to our blog posts discussing Cunningham’s choreographic practices and thoughts; anyone reading our posts should definitely read it here:

One quote in the response that piqued my attention was from Carolyn Brown: “Chance is the dogma, but look deeper.” For me, this whole semester has been about trying to “look deeper,” and what I’ve discovered is the value and beauty of Cunningham’s innovations, including chance, not simply as aesthetic revolutions in their own right, but also as perceptual interventions that bring focus back to the experience of dancing.

While chance, indeterminacy, and independence from music certainly alter the visual appearance of the dance, I discovered that the beauty of the choreography existed in how the dancer interacts with the movement and innovations, not simply their imposition on the dancer. Our showing of Roaratorio was unlike any performance experience I’ve ever had. For one thing, the portions of indeterminacy required me to be attuned to what was going on around me, since these parts of the piece were different every time. The slow crossings and the shoulder pop, for example, required active navigation each time so it was impossible to go into any kind of “autopilot” mode.

Through looking deeper, I’ve found a choreography that offers an authentic experience. Dancing in Roaratorio affirmed for me the remarkable sensation of dancing in a landscape that Meg described so aptly. What I loved about this experience was how we functioned as a community and not as individual performers. Audience members later spoke of a singular organism—like a school of fish or a pack of animals. This was not about an aesthetic; this was about togetherness in a shared present.

Another innovation, dancing to internal rhythms instead of music, similarly served function rather than form. While we had external music for the performance, our internal score kept us unified. We weren’t dancing to music, but rather to each other. I think it is this kind of internal experience, of movement, of rhythm, of others, that makes Cunningham’s work so captivating to watch and rewarding to learn and perform.

One of my favorite things about this piece is that it feels not so much like a dance, but a world choreographed through movement. We don’t simply occupy the space; we interact with and navigate through it, paying equal attention to every point and orientation. I had the sense that everything in my world at that moment was right there—in the choreography and in my fellow dancers. Even in retrospect, it was like an escape into some kind of dilated time in a distant space removed from the world; it felt like an eternity, while still ending too soon. The only sense of time I could rely on was the rhythms that were the lifeblood of the choreography, like a collective heartbeat. Cunningham once said that rhythm was time cut up, but for me the rhythm the only time there was.

While I try, there are some nuances of this experience that I can’t really articulate, and I think that is appropriate. For one, I can’t define where my embodied knowledge of the choreography ended and external, in-the-moment decisions began. My senses were so heightened to everything going on around me—the rhythms, the movement, the space—but I also felt an internal groundedness in the movement and in the rhythm. I think there was some kind of interplay at work here between the familiar and the surprising, the known and the unexpected. Some parts of the piece—the rhythm of my jig, the spatial orientations of the “up-up-downs”, or the slow crossings are so internalized that I can really focus perfecting their details. Other moments are fleeting and perhaps not replicable—a moment of unanticipated eye contact, or a brief collision. I love that there is room in the choreography for these kinds of moments; it keeps the dancer constantly engaged on what they are doing and what is going on around them.

This experience has helped me begin to understand another question from Nancy to Merce: How could his dances be so passionate without narrative, without music, and using chance to remove himself? His response: Because I love dancing!

The truth of these words lies in the experience of learning and performing Cunningham’s choreography. He was a dancer and he loved dancing—not just the look of it, but also the sheer ineffable experience of moving in space and time. Learning and performing this choreography has been such an enlightening privilege. For me, the passion in the choreography came from the freedom to just dance.

After intense focus on learning the movement and trying to perfect the details, I entered the performance with no anticipations. Although performing often makes me quite nervous, even the presence of the audience couldn’t distract me because I felt that in the movement I had a tool that gave me access to a whole other world. I was not bare onstage; I had the choreography to perform and that was all I needed. The surprises that followed were remarkable: Suddenly the familiar movements of my fellow dancers were brightened like Technicolor, as if I were seeing them for the first time. The choreography was something to be explored, a framework in which we as living, breathing dancers could create a totally shared experience.

In short, I was totally wrong about what I initially thought Cunningham’s work would feel like. It was in no way an artificial imposition; rather, it gave me agency as a performer that I’ve never known before. While I’ve performed many times before, this showing was the first time I experienced dancing with all my faculties, despite an audience. Finally, I could pay attention to exactly what I was doing while doing what I love, if this makes any sense. Being able to just focus on the movement and enjoying the perceptual surprises that inevitably arise while dancing with others afforded me so much freedom; it was like breathing or seeing for the first time.

Lastly, and most importantly, this experience has given me the answer to a personal question: This was what I was looking for during all my years of dance training. For me, this is what dance should feel like.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who collaborated to bring this project together, and I hope I don’t miss anyone. Thank you to our faculty director Emily Coates; rehearsal directors Jennifer Goggans, Meg Harper, Neil Greenberg, and Patricia Lent; The Merce Cunningham Trust; Cunningham Trust Scholar in Residence Nancy Dalva; Yale College Dean of the Arts Susan Cahan; Yale Theater Studies and Dance Studies; Alliance for Dance at Yale; School of Music musicians Matthew Welch, Scott Petersen, Garth Neustadter, Anne Rhodes, Ian Rosenbaum, Michael Compitello, Paul Kerekes, and faculty director Christopher Theofanidis; costumer Amanda Walker; photographer William K. Sacco; and the Yale Daily News.

Also, thank you to all my fellow dancers for making this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity even more special; I’ve immensely enjoyed dancing with all of you.

Finally, I’d like to thank Merce Cunningham for his vision and passion. As Cunningham’s work redefined for the world what dance could be, this experience has redefined for me what dancing can be.

Beyond Cunningham


Having had a little time to distance myself from our final performance and dancing Cunningham,  the question I turn to is what will stay with me after this experience.

There has been a push throughout the semester to try and define what the Cunningham style is, and what about it makes it special.  And yet in spite of this, all that is Cunningham is limited to the man and his work.  There is nothing else in the future that will be “Cunningham”. That time has past.  And even in the reconstruction of his work, or the teaching of his technique, there is always the sense of facing back towards the past. As time goes on that image of the past will undoubtedly become blurrier and blurrier until it is nearly unrecognizable.

So what is left? Where is Cunningham now? Where will he be 50 years from now?

While his work may not live beyond a certain point, the impact he has made in the dance world will never disappear.  I don’t really think I realized the magnitude of influence Cunningham has had on dance today until after being able to dance some of his work.  There have been a host of people who have called him one of the most influential figures in dance, and there have been several prominent choreographers who have cited him as an influence, but it wasn’t until embodying his work that I was able to understand the validity of those claims.  Cunningham didn’t just create dance, but a way of seeing, feeling and understanding movement.  When approaching different styles of dance, some of which I have already been familiar with, I feel my body has a whole different relationship to the movement then before.  Pieces of his work and technique have become the building blocks for the work of many choreographers today, and having had the opportunity to dance Cunningham’s work, I can feel his presence within the vocabulary of movement.

A Natural Ending


As I sit back home, far removed from Yale and Yale Dance Theater, I can’t help but feel disbelief at the fact that this journey is over. I will never again dance Roaratorio in the Payne Whitney gym. I will never try the Canfield skips in the awkward rectangular confines of the rehearsal studio. I will never have the pleasure of working with a tandem of three generations of Cunningham dancers to better experience and understand an avenue of modern dance which had previously bewildered me. What I feel is only a fraction of what the Cunningham Company must have felt after their last performance of the Legacy Tour–a mixture of pride, joy, and sadness. It is over.

These past five months have drastically changed the way I see and experience modern dance. I used to be a competitive dance team junkie–the more turns, jumps, and extensions that were in a routine, the more impressed I would be with the performance. When I began ballet, I slowly started to develop an appreciation of the elegance and grace involved in dance. That is why modern dance confused me so much. Why, I wondered, did people dance to non-rhythmic music with non-traditional movements? Where were the fouettes and quadruple pirouettes that were so expected in competitive dance? Where was the “prettiness” that is so lauded in ballet? Where were all the things that I was familiar with? Cunningham was uncharted territory.

The best way to truly understand something is to experience it deeply and fully, in one’s bones. I spent the first half of the project being confused by the choreography, only to realize that by the end of it, I was enchanted by it. I was even more enchanted by it when John Cage’s score was layered on top of the rhythmic movement. It all made… sense.

When I usually dance, I’m wracked by nerves beforehand, thinking about the triple turn or the quick footwork that I don’t quite have yet. But as I sat in the offstage area awaiting my entrance, I didn’t feel nervous at all. In fact, I felt rather at home. The movement was exactly what was natural to do at that moment. I had no hesitation about what came next or the rhythm of my movements. Dancing had never felt more natural.

Before the first performance, Meg smoothed back my hair, held my hands, and said to me, “Promise me one thing: have fun.” And I did. I had the time of my life.

A Cunningham Event


I’m not a fan of endings, but as endings go, ending the Yale Dance Theater’s Cunningham Project with our two lecture/demonstrations was far better than I could have imagined.

Many different things contributed to the sense of purpose and solemnity, but also joy and pride that I and the other dancers experienced during these two showings. For one, as discussed in many of the post-show question and answer sessions, the space made a big difference. Dancing in a space as vast as the gym, both in terms of floor space and the extraordinarily high ceiling, completely changed our sense of the expansiveness of the movement. In particular my experience of performing a slow solo as part of the “four slow women” section suddenly had a greater sense of focus and perspective as the movement stretched to fill the enormous walls.

Of course, having an audience also changed our experience of the work. There was a pride in presenting our work, and in demonstrating to many at Yale the growing resources for dance at Yale as represented by this amazing project.

Most importantly, I found that having an audience and performing in the basketball arena gave me, and perhaps my fellow dancers, an overwhelming sense of the history of the work we were performing. It’s one thing to learn work in the studio, and to understand the work itself from the inside, and in truth that was the only thing I was expecting to experience in bringing that work to fruition in a performance – satisfaction in my knowledge of the work and in our performance of the steps.

As it turns out, and perhaps it was narrow-minded of me not to leave room for this – the environment and the audience made our performances about much more than just showing that we had mastered curves and tilts and triplets. We not only faced the enormity of the gym, but heard about how it related to the various places Cunningham used as locations for events. We did not only see the audience as family and friends, attending to applaud our efforts, but realized that the audience was composed of people who had never before seen Cunningham work – and who are not likely to have many opportunities to see his work going forward – alongside people who love and follow his work and have an even greater awareness of not only the works we were performing, but also this event, in Cunningham history, than we do. Putting our work over the semester in this context suddenly made it about much more than the sum of leg and arm motions. Presenting excerpts from Cunningham class, I realized we were giving people a glimpse into an entire world of dance, really, and a world we were privileged to have such thorough, if still brief, access to. It was the sense of place, of history, and of responsibility to represent Cunningham’s work to those who had never seen it before and to those who followed it faithfully, that made the lecture demonstrations transcend simple presentation for me. It was, truly, an event.

Keep looking!


I might be misremembering this, but I think that in the movie “Pina” at some point a former member of Tanztheater Wuppertal recalls that Pina Bausch once told him or her to “keep looking” for what the piece or movement was about, for the meaning of the dance, or something along those lines.

The idea underlying those words is simple and elusive at the same time. It’s the same idea that we find in Merce’s[1] quote on Nancy Dalva’s website The Informal Formalist: “keep looking”.

To my non-native English speaker’s ears, the words can be interpreted in two, mutually compatible, ways: keep searching, on the one hand, and keep watching, on the other. This might be wrong, and I thought about asking a native speaker for confirmation, but then I thought: if Heidegger can invent etymologies and get away with it, can’t I keep my supposed ambiguities and write about them? Well, of course, I am not Heidegger, and I might not get away with it, but I’ll give it a try anyway.

One can search in many ways. Using your eyes is one important way. Eyes are the organ of perception par excellence, the means for our primary way of interacting with the world. Dance as an artistic form is something to watch. We could spend many, many hours talking about the role of the gaze in dance: the gaze of the audience, the gaze of the dancers, the relationship between the two. So one obvious way for a dancer, or an audience member, to keep searching for what’s to be found in a dance, is to look with one’s eyes.

But it’s not the only way. After all, you can stare at a landscape, a painting, a beloved face, or a sequence of movements as long as you want, but you might not see what is there to be seen. We have many more organs of perception, including our brain and our heart.

Why splitting the mind in two cheesy metaphors[2], you might ask? The answer is fairly obvious, but maybe less obvious, or less universally shared, is the constant struggle that I experience in reconciling the different searches for meaning that the emotional, the intellectual (and the visceral) parts of me embark on. I am a philosopher and a dancer. I approach dance, such a physical, necessarily embodied enterprise, from a conceptual point of view. When I started choreographing, my dances were primarily concepts, concepts that I found in my dancers’ bodies. I am realizing as I write that my way of choreographing is the way Socrates does philosophy (absolutely no comparison in philosophical value intended!!!): as a midwife. I maieutically extract from my dancers what I want them to say with their bodies, helping them to give birth to a dance that is mine and theirs at the same time. For a long time I felt this was a bit like cheating, not genuine choreographing, and evidence for my lack of creative talent. But I am finally starting to set aside narcissistic self-doubts and questions about talent, and recognize that this is a legitimate way of choreographing, because it is the way a philosopher choreographs, or, more importantly, the way I choreograph, the way I can “keep looking”. I keep looking into other people’s bodies for my meaning and I try to bring it out.

But there is another way in which I see myself as following the dictum of two choreographers as different as Pina and Merce. I keep looking into my own body for the meaning that someone else intended. (Or for the lack of meaning. Or for the impossibly thin line between meaning and lack of meaning, which I think is what is to be found in most of Merce’s dances)

For every dance I learn, I keep looking into my body (and my body includes my mind, and my mind is my body) for what is to be found. In Merce’s case, I keep looking for the ever elusive lower back curve; for the perfect circle of plies and tilts and uniquely Jennifer-esque bounciness that starts “my” jig in Roaratorio; for the sharp and lighthearted precision of the up-up-downs; for the hypnotic smoothness of the slow crossings and of the Pond Way sequence; and for every step that I performed on Friday afternoon there is a never-ending list of discoveries to be made, of little sparkling treasures to be found.

It makes me sad that I have to stop looking for them, at least momentarily. But it’s also a relief brought to me by life, with its limited resources and other necessities, because never-ending quests are exhausting and terrifying.

And of course art just is life on a illuminated, elevated stage, and life itself is an exhausting and terrifying never-ending quest. But thankfully there are moments of enclosed rapture like those in the Payne Whitney gym on Friday night, when we dance to our own, collectively established, rhythm, and we hear each other breathing, and we feel each other’s protective gaze, and we look up and we hear the music for the first time, and we are just finitely, infinitely, happy.




[1]    I say “Merce” hesitantly, given that I never met him, but after Friday night I cannot help but feeling part of the Cunningham’s family, presumptuously but unavoidably.

[2]    And it should really be three: we shouldn’t forget about the guts, our primitive brain.