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Monday, October 13, 2008

Craving the Elusive

The pleasure we derive from the representation of the present is due, not only to the beauty it can be clothed in, but also to its essential quality of being the present. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings. ~ Agnes Martin

When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about. ~ Albert Einstein

Be careful how you interpret the world: It is like that. ~ Erich Heller


Normally, when I have a craving for something, it is very easy for me to figure out what it is and fulfill it quickly. I am an excellent craving satisfier.

Today's cravings:

Taste: salt
Touch: silk
Sight: luminous light
Smell: amber
Sound: Chopin's Nocturnes


On Sunday, I had a craving for something and I had no idea what it was.

brief, evanescent, fleeting, momentary, passing, short, temporary, transient, transitory, unenduring, vague


By happenstance, I found a notice of a ballet performance, just one of two performances by the Inbal Pinto Dance Company, touring select cities. This ballet company is from Israel. I had never heard of them before, but once I read about the show, Shaker, I knew that I should see it.

Perhaps it was my escape from the week's hyper-reality and hyper-unreality of bad news and work and politics and fatigue of the mind. Perhaps it was that this troupe of talented dancers, being ambassadors of something more transient than "reality" but more necessary--beauty--that I wanted to help welcome them to my city and appreciate their talents by witnessing them.

Yes, I think it was that.


Shaker takes place inside a fantasy world, inside a snowglobe.

When I see something very special or beautiful, part of my heart aches that I don't have all of you with me to see it too. So all I can do is try to describe it as best I can, and hope that someday you might see something like this too, and tell me about it.


From the program notes (just use your imagination):

The newest dance theater piece by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak looks and feels like one of those eerily beautiful, but grey winter days, fitfully seen through whirling snow from the window of a fast moving train. The inspiration for this piece comes from those little glass snow globes that fill with snowflakes every time you shake it.

On stage there are three tiny grey huts into and from which the dancers, clad in black or colored bodysuits, appear and disappear as mysteriously as they emerge from the wings or the ground. Pinto says, "The world inside the shaker is not necessarily happy. It has it all - good, evil, happy and sad." Pollak adds, "We used the imagery of melting ice. The piece starts off in a frozen state, and slowly, the ice breaks. It is somewhere between dark and silly. When the two sides are tied to each other, they fight, make up, and can't be one without the other."

It was just what I needed to see.

And happily, I found these brief clips to share with you:


julochka October 13, 2008 at 10:44 PM  

wonderful to have something beautiful to dwell on and lose yourself in when everything else seems like it's gone so wrong...thank you for sharing! :-)

A Cuban In London October 14, 2008 at 1:56 AM  

You are indulging me, TB. I am a dance teacher (Afro-Cuban) and I have been watching dance (ballet included) for more than twenty years; written on the subject, too. The clips you uploaded were beautiful in extremis, and I can picture the delicacy and vigour of the performers as they transform their bodies in words and the air around them in paper. The photos were absolutely gorgeous. Presently I have roughly just under a thousand dance photos in my screen saver (yes, it's a large folder) depicting various dance forms, from more traditional to more modern. This post is right up my street. All the quotes you used were apposite to both your previous post about sunset in Sunset (which indulged me, too!) and this one about art.

Do not feel despaired by life, feel despaired when your thirst for art is gone. You still have it.

Thanks a bunch for this lovely post.

Greetings from London.

Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 2:22 AM  

I loved watching the two videos, so graceful, so beautiful :-) Thank you for sharing

My Castle in Spain October 14, 2008 at 6:46 AM  

This is my moment of beauty for this afternoon as the sky is totally grey with rain here..
Wow...you know, watching dance performance is one the things i love most in life..
I don't have the all- experience of our dear Cuban friend but it is indeed a form of art i totally cherish..
So sweet J., THANKS for this post, the great quotes and the videos !!!

willow October 14, 2008 at 7:12 AM  

Wonderful post, as always! ;) Love the Einstein quote, especially.

Christina October 14, 2008 at 7:24 AM  

You have found my weakness. Ballet makes me weak in the knees and soft in the heart.

No matter the dance really, I fall in love.

; )

Uncle Beefy October 14, 2008 at 7:51 AM  

I am not a dancer (though I've shaken my moneymaker on a speaker or two in my day). But the art and physicality are something I find both admirable and deeply moving. This looks extraordinary and like something that I'd experience soft, rolling tears while watching. Sigh.

Red Shoes October 14, 2008 at 8:21 AM  

A Cuban in London, I think she's indulging *me*! I'm a lighting designer...!

Delicious, TB, absolutely delicious.

Relyn October 14, 2008 at 4:19 PM  

Did you capture those amazing images? I especially love the symphony in black and white. Just wonderful! I'm so glad you satisfied your cravings, and one I didn't even know I had till I read your post.

rochambeau October 14, 2008 at 6:53 PM  

Finding the dance performance was a gift to your soul. Dancing and watching artist dance has a mysterious power to bring joy.

Most stunning:
taste: Apple
touch: Velvet ribbons
scent: A fading gardenia
Sound: Ceiling fan
Sight: An elderly man who sits in front of his house every day.

All for now sugarbabes

tangobaby October 15, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

Hi julochka,

One of the things I liked best was the feeling that being impulsive really gave me something I didn't know I needed.

Hi a cuban in london,

Wow. Wow. You don't know how much I'd love to take a dance class from you. Now you've really got my wheels turning.

I'm glad you could appreciate what I saw through the photos and clips. Somehow it didn't seem like enough. But you know how beautiful it was.

I'm so glad I could give you a little taste of it. That was my intention!

Hi carol,

You're so welcome...like I said, I wish I could have had you with me.


Hi lala,

And you, too, my dear dancing friend. And is it turning chilly in that fantasy world of Granada now? Stay warm and cozy.

Hi christina,

When I watch ballet, I feel like I am watching combined hundreds of years of hard work and passion before me, not just the choreography and the staging. It's the hearts of those people there for you to see.

I know you would appreciate that too.

Hi relyn,

In my zeal to have found and collected those images from different sites, I neglected to save the links. My bad!

Photography was not permitted (nor would I have wished to) so I'm grateful that some professional photographers captured a teeny bit of the magic.

Hi rochambeau

Velvet ribbons? A fading gardenia? Oh my, oh my. You are my kind of girl! But then I knew that already, didn't I?

I love your answers here.