A portrait of a dancer,
whose limbs and mind carriage the soul,
and become art for the spectators' gaze.
Feet & legs,
ankles & toes,
torso & arms.
Chest & shoulders,
neck & face,
crown & eyes.
I often think that a dancer's external movements are a reflection of their internal self.
If this is true, then Carl is strong, dynamic, and steady.
And in many ways, he is. Watching him dance is stunning. His internal strength is evident in his physicality, in how he his heels meets the floor to take placed steps and in the micro-movements of the sub-sections of his fingers. He is focused and serious; contemplative, yet performing. As a dancer he's on display--he's chosen to be seen.
However, I've seen Carl get nervous teaching large dance classes of Irvine high school girls. Despite his beautiful technique and strength as a mover, there is anxiety, fear, insecurity. His eyes were wide with worry, and his voice quivered. I never expected to see the body I admired so much on stage, shake so much in a sun-lit dance studio.
It reminded me that dancers have a career of vulnerability. To choose, and then commit to such a life requires an intense and unquantifiable amount of mental and emotional strength. The pursuit of art, meaning, and feeling are not tasks that go by lightly. Feats such as these take a toll on the body and mind. Often, the true performance and tests occurs internally, and during the off-stage moments.
As time ticks by, the dancer is waiting. She waits for her moment of agency and to play with the music;he flirts and twirls in his own space; their eyes open and close with each pulsating breath.
Dancers, I love.