In moments that many of us would like to hibernate, it is always useful to remember that constant motion is a highly useful tool for staying alive. Not all of us are keen on dancing. I can’t say it was ever one of my favourite pastimes, but some associate stillness with lugubriousness or ageing. There have been situations when I have been taunted about getting older by younger folks, because I wasn’t inclined towards shaking a leg.
But dance and movement are two different things, even though there is some overlapping in ways of explaining what they are. I do enjoy moving. In fact, I find real stillness to be restrictive when I perform, for example.
A performance psychologist pointed out to me that I become troubled when I cannot move. I haven’t been in any setting in recent times that required me to be stock still, so I’m uncertain about the veracity of her observation.
We live in times when performance is regarded primarily as song and dance. An esteemed choreographer once complained to me that pure dance is not given the cultural value of music in the popular culture. I reflected on what he said and thought about the fact that hardly any instrumentalists are regarded as heroic figures in today’s popular culture.
Some research suggests that dancing Tango is an effective way to keep our brains healthy. A highly skilled dancer/choreographer told me of her experiences in Buenos Aires, where she kept on stepping on her partners toes. Should Tango be co-opted into education systems across the world, for the universal benefit of humankind?