So tonight (well technically last night) was the first episode of season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance. And judging by my reaction tonight, I can already tell this season is going to blow me away. I’m not too happy about the changes to the format. However, as the next few weeks will just be auditions, final judgment on that will have to be reserved for later. And even so the format may have changed, the dancing will not.
I do not think I could ever adequately explain just how profound of an affect this show has on me, how profound of an affect dance has on me. Real dance. There is something quite magical about this show. Something that isn’t even close to achieved on that other show. Most likely that has to do with the other show being about the “stars” and not about real talent and dance. Dance. This art form that pulls at me in such an incomprehensible way.
You hear terms like heart wrenching and gut wrenching. For me, dance is soul wrenching. It pulls at the very fabric of my being. It has this ineffable quality which reaches far beyond time and space. When I dance, I get to submerge myself into unexplored worlds. Worlds not yet imagined. Worlds waiting to be found. Worlds that cannot be written about. Worlds that cannot be spoken about. Worlds that cannot be painted. Worlds that cannot be staged. Worlds that cannot be expressed through music. But when the dancer becomes the canvas, when the dancer becomes the music, when the dancer becomes the words, when the dancer steps onto that stage, universes are created. The inconceivable is given life. Breath is given to a reality you didn’t even know existed.
Dancers are more than movement. They are the art. Everything aesthetically pleasing is homogenized and perfectly encapsulated, waited for the moment to burst forth into being. Dance gave me the drive and determination to get out of a wheelchair 4 years ago. Dance gives me reasons, outside of the tangible, for existing.
I do not know if I could ever really explain why. It is just so “other world” and my rational being has a hard time expressing such things. When I watch dance, when I dance, there is this ball that forms in my gut. And it isn’t like the other balls that form there for different situation, such as the ball that forms when you are worried or the ball of butterflies that forms when you are exited or anticipating something or are in love. This ball has a completely different life.
The ball is vacuous yet filled with bursting energy. It is weightless and it is heavy. It is vibratory but completely calm. It is dense with matter and it is void. It is hot and it is cold. It is black and it is white. It expands and collapses upon itself all at the same time. When I try to visualize this process, I almost see one of the few times movies have accurately depicted something being blown out into space (the Star Trek reboot).
You see and hear the explosions within the ship and then sharply, there is nothing. Silence. Emptiness. Black. Cold. Imagine playing that scene forwards and backwards, amplifying the sound and lack thereof. Now speed up the process so that matter is being forcibly blown out into deafening silence and sucked back into loud existence with equal force, simultaneously. Then add to that the Universe in which we currently inhabit exploding with the force of the Big Bang and collapsing back into itself at the same time. This is a minuscule and pathetic attempt at describing the indescribable.
That is soul wrenching. That is dance.