It's half past November. The maples, aspen and sumac are bare. The oak trees cling stubbornly to their dead brown leaves like mothers refusing to let go of their grown sons. The wind and rain have scoured the city. But I can not remember another year when the cottonwoods were so beautiful. They are banks of stored sunshine, clustering along the rivers and creeksides. You could trace the water from a plane, by following the trails of gold.
And then, when the sun breaks through the one thin spot in the clouds and illuminates the world, the cottonwoods glow! Happy, happy, happy!
LG, the wonderful woman that she is, organized a night at the ballet for us. There is a dance troupe in town, Body Vox, who are so creative, so witty,so deep,so exquisitely skillful, playful and talented that I'm perpetually astonished to find them here, and not in some "Big" artistic center. Thank you, thank you, LG!
We saw a retrospective of their work from the last twelve years, to celebrate their new performance space. While the space was underconstruction, they began choreographing dances with the boards and dollies they found in the work space. Another dance is three nearly naked men suspended in a welded silver cage which they climb in and out of, over and through, defying gravity and expectations and evoking powerful emotions of constraint and release with no mugging, miming or sign language. My favorite piece was called "Urban Meadow" with most of the troupe wearing overcoats, wooly hats, socks with pompoms around the cuffs. They are sheep. There is also a sheepdog who keeps them together, sees to their well-being, and defends them from the wolf (wearing tight pants, no shirt, a furry vest, a chuppa ski hat with the earflaps pulled down, and a dangerous expression.) He succeeds in snatching one lamb who strays from the flock. He tries to take a ram but the ram bleats loudly and the dog rescues him (literally pulling him out of the arms of the wolf.) Then the dog and the wolf fight, pawing and slapping at one another till the dog hoists the wolf over his shoulder and slaps his butt several times quite loudly. The wolf falls still. The dog re-gathers the frightened flock and settles them down for the night. It was funny, tender, gentle. It was choreographed by someone who understands sheep. And it amazed me how an overcoat and a fuzzy hat can create a surprisingly believable sheep costume for a gifted dancer. It was worth braving the rainy dark night for an evening with LG and the stunning performances of Body Vox!
Two things I noticed: 1. These dancers are NOT in the first flush of youth, but they still move like music. 2.These people are STRONG but also limber and lean. The guys in the cage hung dead still from the bottom from curled arms for about a full minute while moving their legs in slow motion running in mid-air. Then they flexed a bit more, and (apparently)effortlessly pulled themselves up to the top of the cage. AND these lads are NOT bulked up! Trim, well-defined biceps and shoulders, yes - flat, lightly ridged bellies, yes, but no unnaturally swollen shoulders or abnormally deliniated six-packs. Body builders impress me less than gymnasts. Dancers impress me most of all.
On the blog comments, I have been getting spam lately, so I had to turn on comment moderation. Sorry 'bout that, but someone wants us all to meet hot singles and watch their explicit videos. Hopefully, they'll get bored if we just ignore them for a while.