By Leonid Pletnev
First published for web magazine “Best Dance Tribune”
Why do people dance? Why does he invites, and she accepts the invitation to dance? What is hidden behind the rhythmic movements to the beats of music? What could it be?
“If life is a rhythmic alternation of natural phenomena, that means life is a dance” (Leonid Pletnev; from his collected essays “With Reverence… “). Nature dances, grass and trees dance, animals and birds, the seas and oceans, stars and universes dance. It is through rhythmic movements people come close to understanding and feeling connection with Mother Nature. In the evening, holding my young son in my arms and lulling him to sleep, I sing him a lullaby while rhythmically swinging and rocking him to the song’s beat. Finding himself at the mercy of this rhythm, he falls asleep. Mothers and fathers the world over do the same, because our rhythmic movements correspond to natural movements.
Life is composed of opposites. Nature, of itself, consists of fights between the opposites, yet at the same time balances itself through their necessary compromise.
The coherent whole of the universe can only be attained through co-existence of contradictions. Top – down, right – left, black – white, hot – cold, etc… Good and bad! Man and woman! Yes, we are created by God to be opposed to each other — That’s why men and women are called “opposing sexes”!) – being placed in need of a compromise. But opposites cannot negotiate themselves, because in nature they work against each other, negating themselves to equal out each other. To create the miracle of unity, they need a third connecting element! And it must necessarily be dialectically more developed. It is nature itself (or her messenger), as in any shape or form. Yin and Yang in symbol are united by a circle, an electron and proton in the atom – by magnetism. Man and woman in life are united together by LOVE! It is a magical feeling and still not understood despite the centuries. It’s because this force does not belong to us, but to nature, and is one of life’s major mysteries.
Dance as a Prelude to Unity
Love creates a primordial urge to touch, and dancing is an opportunity to do that! Dance is a prelude of togetherness, a pleasant, correct and legal way to rapprochements. It is exploration, research and recognition. It’s a possible discovering, of partner and self. It’s a spark, emotion.
An invitation to dance is a sign of attention, an obvious demonstration of interest, a proposal of connection.
At first it’s a light breeze blowing, but holds the promise that it may develop into a storm. In a relationship this is the hope that we live with and are guided by. This is a chance for nature to help overcome the contradictions, to end the fighting and bring out a new, unique and valuable unit, by its example, to develop and to change the world. And if dance is not filled with this, it would be meaningless to nature and far from its primary goal — the harmonious connection of opposites.
What is the power of two people — together, to join hands and dance? By nature we all are selfish and want to have pleasure in life, in everything we do. We expect the same from dance as couples. And the Angel sitting on the man’s shoulder whispers in his ear: “Do you want pleasure, the most possible? Look for HER!” And the other on her shoulder echoes: “Do you also want it? Then find HIM! “. And THEY find each other in the dance! Everyone understands that the more you give, the more you will receive. So it turns out that the main purpose of couples dancing becomes a mutual exchange of pleasures, the will and the capacity to deliver it to his or her partner.
Technique of Giving Pleasure
It’s more than merely the technique of dancing; it’s the “technique of giving the pleasure of dancing”. To dance a step from the heel, say, in this particular direction and that specific amount of turn should be done not for judges’ satisfaction, but for your partner’s pleasure, because that’s when she will be able to experience the maximum pleasure. Of course, only if she is able to feel! Sensuality! The highest pleasure cannot be achieved if a person is unable to feel, is not capable of experiencing the shades and nuances of pleasure, is not refined, not naked in soul, not in LOVE at last!
The dance between the bride and groom is one of the key moments of a wedding celebration. Why? Why do people, who have never even thought about performing publicly, who have never taken dance lessons, plan to dance to an audience on one of the most important days in their lives?
The dance of a young married couple says to the world that they, opposites, find agreement, solve contradictions, (by giving in or persuading each other) in their goals and methods of interaction, their mass and intelligence linked.
In that first dance together as husband and wife, they begin to feel they are becoming a COUPLE! A couple on the floor and a couple in life!
(To be continued to the second part)