Why would you walk?

fullsizeoutput_97

“But ballet itself – it’s important. Dance is important. It’s that language that everybody understands. It’s a powerful tool to open people’s minds. It’s some subconscious thing, a connection we all have. Kids dance before walking. It’s our truest nature of being. It’s true spirit.” He pauses. “And then, slowly and slowly, as we grow older, we get more and more baggage and life changes you. We are more scared of things, more fearful. So how to eliminate that? We have to go back to how we were as a kid, because that’s our truest nature. And with ballet, that is how I’m trying to come back to this state of mind. Because that’s the purest state. Tribes dance. Every country has a national dance. In the clubs we dance, we dance at weddings. Dance is a language. It’s a language that we need, like music, to survive.”

Sergei Polunin interview Another Man Magazine

If you could be dancing

Photo: Street Milonga in Porto (2013)

First ballet shoes

The pink of the leather turned out to be a lighter shade than I’d hoped, it looked like the underside of a kitten, and the sole was a dirty grey cat’s tongue, and there were no long pink satin ribbons to criss-cross over the ankles, no only a sad elastic strap (…)

Zadie Smith, Swing Time

I remember my first ballet shoes. After being accepted to the dance school, my mum took me to Porfirios in Rua Santa Catarina to buy the light blue leotard and skirt and that same kind of faded ballet pink leather shoes. I don’t actually remember the details but I remember the smell of those very first ballet slippers.

Scent is, in a way,  charged with history (…) the sense of smell is, as McLuhan stresses,” iconic”. In the same perspective, we could also say that it is the narrative epic sense. It brings together, weaves and condenses historic happenings into an image, into a narrative composition. 

Byung-Chul Han, The Scent of Time

Scent gives us back who we are by conferring some kind of stability to our own narrative, allowing us to make sense of ourselves by composing some sort of self-portrait. My childhood smells like new ballet shoes. This is a scent I have tried in vain to reencounter. New ballet shoes don’t have that exact smell anymore. In October last year, I bought new shoes. I prefer canvas to leather now and split soles and pre-sewn elastics. I haven’t been to ballet class yet. Life or some other excuse has been in the way.

It was also the aroma of possibilities, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

In awe

I admire dancers. I admire the ability to make your body tell stories, the beauty of carrying within you the world, of stopping time.

Some days I wake up and pretend to be a dancer.


And then I remember,  my past really is everything I failed to be.

And I realize it is also the courage of being yourself trough impersonation on stage that leaves me in awe.

References

Fernando Pessoa / Bernardo Soares

The Book of Disquiet