I’ll come right out and admit it. Sometimes when watching modern dance I have no idea what is going on. Last night when watching the Batsheva Dance Company I had a few of those moments. I even thought when one of dancer’s pants fell down during her piece that it was on purpose. It wasn’t. I worked that out when I saw her share a smile with another dancer. They did well not to fall over in a heap laughing. Thankfully, for her, she was wearing awesome lace knickers. And let’s all be honest here – dancers have the most amazing bodies. She could have taken all of her clothes off and I would still be marvelling at her balance, agility, movement and sensuality.
I took my Mum with me to thank her for all her help looking after our children, while Twiggy and I have been attempting to get into the Festival spirit. Pre-kids it was a different time – we’d be out every night. By the end of March we’d sleep for an entire weekend, exhausted and full to the brim with culture and booze poisoning. Now, we have a very measured experience and with big thanks to the team at the Adelaide Festival and the Fringe – we’ve been able to get our share of fun, in a very measured way. Without Mum it wouldn’t have been possible to leave the house. Last night, Twiggy stayed home, leaving Mum and I to join Adelaide’s cultural elite sipping on bubbles and marvelling over dancers’ bodies.
The performance itself was stunning. I’m a little unsure why there was so much body slapping and number calling, but I was very clear that the dancing was delectable. For me the performance was about love, the struggles of relationships and sexuality, the war within, and between, people. Love and loss. Falling into, and out, of it. It was a visual feast. It was perplexing, confusing, sometimes a little wanky, but there was no doubting it was an experience which fuelled me.
As I sat with my mother, both mesmerised by the strength of the men and women moving their bodies in the most magical of ways, we both imagined my middle child up there. She twists her body and loses herself in music in a very similar way. She’d rather interpret the world through movement than through words. I could only imagine her wonderment when she discovers that people actually dance for a living, not just in a tutu, pop video way, but in a more abstract, freeing way.
When you watch dance, you might not know exactly what the point of each sweep of the arm, slap of the belly, twist of the waist, scurrying of buttocks across the floor, lift of the eyes or point of the toe is, but you make it mean something to you. You take the music, the bodies and the movements and make them your own. From the first second to the last, this dance performance captivated me. It grabbed a part of my soul and twisted it in many different directions.
The Festival brings you those moments on a platter; a smorgasbord of deliciousness. Every morsel, every instant, every thought, entwined. It changes you. One day I will sit in the theatre with my girls watching bodies twist and turn, like I did with my mother. Maybe one of my children will be up there. Just like the meanings you take away with you, there are infinite possibilities.
And you can chat about all your experiences and even try out a few moves at – Lola’s Pergola