Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Music Embodied

Her life is being a dancer.
As a little girl, that is all she wants to do --
Ballet and jazz and Latin dance.
But then she finds the dance from the Río de Plata.
She enters into the music, an honorary musician,
Sitting next to Pugliese on his bench, as he plays.
She watches his fingers, the violins pull at her heart.
The bass throbs, the bandoneón makes her weep.
She returns to her ballet -- for fun she says.
But she is changed.  Music possesses her body.
Oh, had she only met the grace of embrace earlier.
She knows now that to dance is to be a musician,
And a musician, a dancer.

My life is being a musician.
As a little boy, that is all I want to do --
Orchestras, big band jazz, Latin percussion.
But then I find the dance from the Río de Plata.
I enter into the music, dancing out the notes.
I dance the vibraphone and harp in Fresedo.
I dance the clave rhythms of Africa in Di Sarli.
The lyrical percussion pounds at my soul.
I live in the Kingdom of the Rey del Compas.
I return to my instruments -- for fun I tell myself.
But I am changed.  Music possesses my body.
I wish that I had met this dance earlier.
I know now that to dance is to be a musician,
And a musician, a dancer.

Her path and my path converge one evening --
The dancer who is a musician,
And the musician who is a dancer.
We dance our first tanda.
A feeling of forever overtakes us.
We are the music, the music is us.

Photo Credit for ballet dancer drawing:

This poem is a prelude to a post on a the term "musicality," to follow in a few days.

Also of note:  If you went to the link on clave, perhaps I should say a word or two.  The concept of a "clave" in tango (3/3/2) is disputed by those who do not hear its mystical voice, saying "dance!"  So if you do not hear it, it is not because of a lack of musical training.  It may be that you do not have the same auditory hallucinations as I do.  :-) 

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