Published by Erica on

Sometimes I can be critical…. and sometimes I can be hyper-critical. This usually happens most in dance. After being a dancer for 20 years, it’s a topic I am very knowledgeable about. I can recognize good and bad technique in most genres, and I can also see good and bad performance. The thing is, most of what I notice doesn’t matter to the average viewer. And it’s quite possible that my hyper-critical comments detract not only from the performance (which always represents a significant amount of work and dedication on the part of the artists) but also from my character. So, in a matter of mere seconds I can destroy someone’s perception of a dance, their perception of me, under-value the effort of the artists, and destroy the event for myself by not simply letting myself be captured by the aesthetics. Nit-picking is not great sometimes.

I was somewhat admonished on this topic the other day. I’m glad something was said…. I don’t always realize when I’ve gone into this hyper-critical mode. And I don’t want to excuse the fact that I’m guilt of this: I am. What probably doesn’t come across when I comment on dance is that I would critique myself just as harshly. But really, going to a dance performance is something I love because I can abandon myself to the beauty. I had a hard time this last show letting go of the analysand in me and simply appreciating. 

I love dance. It enchants me. I am far from perfect in my dancing. I have never been the best, and I’ve always known that. I only wish I could dance in my mortal body the way my soul dances. I think what I’m realizing right now is that I’ve lost some of the soul in my dancing and in my viewing of dance. That is a tragedy, but thankfully one that can be amended. 

So tonight, I am amending that… or at least beginning to. When I first came to BYU I was inspired by dance, awed by it; I didn’t know any of the performers personally yet and hadn’t learned so much as to make me so “expert” in the genres. In my first weeks here I watched World of Dance, a yearly dance production where all the performing groups showcase their talents. Thank you BYUTV for having this (2004) performance online! I have been moved almost to tears (partly in sadness at my arrogance, but mostly from the beauty of the dances). 

Thanks for the admonishment. In all my learning and knowledge acquisition of late, I have forgotten to be inspired. Life should inspire and awe us…. and I hope that I might remember this more from now on. 

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