Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Balanchine Bodhisattva


In my ballets, woman is first. Men are consorts. God made men to sing the praises of women. They are not equal to men: They are better.  
George Balanchine

Just recently I sat in, by stringent permission only, on two ballet classes (cannot divulge where) of the Balanchine trajectory.  It was taught by a teacher who had received direct teaching-transmission from the master himself.  She made frequent allusions and direct references to his words, techniques, and ideas; she was still very limber and could dance circles around the young students.  When she'd jump and land, she made no sound whatsoever, while the students would land with an audible, floor-shaking thud.  

"Let me see the music," she said.  "That's what he (Balanchine) would say to us.  Let me see the music."  She said "Music is everything," and "Honesty is everything."  Being honest with one's own abilities and limitations, seeing them for what they truly are, as a starting point. Balanchine motions are big and exuberant.  The Balanchine school is a segue to modern-contemporary.  Classicist fundamentalist, in parallel to ideological classicist-fundies, oppose the style as heretical, as "jazzy" (as I heard one of them snidely say), and as unorthodox, but this is how the dynamic works.  The classical in all eventuality deconstructs of its own inherent accord, and if it can't turn into a butterfly from its confining cocoon, it'll find itself in a world surrounded by heresy.  Relative heresy, that is.  Relative to classicist paradigms, post-deparadigmization in aeonic stirrings of the Age of Aquarius.  After all, French ballet had its inception in comedic parody of aristocratic court-based, patriarchal classicism of the so-called nobles; when women began to dance the ballet with men, the old customs could no longer hold water.  The deparadigmed gave way to the Novel, to another phase of evolution.   

In hearing the teacher's words, and tuning my empathic radar upon her energetic and morphic fields, I came to realize that she had assimilated a novel morphic field which had breached the classical box, and busted loose into romantic expressiveness. The deparadigmization was evident in the subtleties, such as in the tilting of the head, the positions of the hands, sweeping, sometimes flamboyant motions of arms and legs.  When she would ponder on a combination of dance movements, even momentarily, I could empathically sense her microcosmic interweavings with memory-fields of dance modules that she had learned, danced, assimilated, and experienced repeatedly; I detected the thoughts and no-thoughts that went with them, the supernal motions that broke old modes and molds, and her very own personal memories that went along with them.  It was remarkable, and I was somewhat astounded.  I realized how extraordinary it all was, even as I watched the students in the brightly lit, large, austere studio with white walls, wooden floors, barres, and mirrors, as they performed their warmups, staring at the wall, like Zen monks do in meditation.        

And lastly but not least, I believe there should be a ballet company for "retired" dancers, because they have something to offer that can only come after many years of distillation, accumulation, and interweaving with the field of cosmic dance; theirs would be a dance of generating fields beyond the confines of style, the present, and the literal moment.  Those who have become masters have access to hyperdimensions by way of bodily memory; they have powers of healing and sublimation.  They are ecstatic shamans, mystics, and medicine people; they are Bodhisattvas of Dance.  They are harbingers of novelty, they are weavers of authentic awakening of dormant and atrophied energy-centers.