Last night Alex, Jasper, Kieran, Pilar, and David came home tired from their long day out. Janet and I on the other hand did not really want to go see big bugs or butterflies, and instead stayed home and in my case, got a ton of schoolwork done.
So when everybody else got home, Janet and I were rested and had had an incredibly productive day of working. Alex’s cousin Jimena has a passion for dance, and she recommended a dance that was happening that night. It was free of charge and Janet and I wanted to get out of the house for a bit after being inside all day.
Looking back, I am so glad I went. We were able to just walk into a theater, and watch an amazing show. And boy was it amazing. As we entered the theater and the lights dimmed, 13 Afro-Colombian dancers walked onto the stage. Jimena had told us that the dance was about racism, the struggles that people of minorities face in their everyday lives almost everywhere in the world.
There was a singer, a drummer, and over ten other dancers. The music was also incredible. It flowed from note to note, driving my mind to just lose itself in big thoughts because of the music and the dancers. My mind was in fascination and sadness for how beautiful the dance was and what the dance was about.
In the scenes, they had to challenge, fight, and struggle to be recognized. One scene looked like a woman fighting against a board that was held up vertically by the other dancers. She hit and fought against the barrier, trying to get past the wall that was so unfairly put in front of her. Then she jumped and her hands clung on to the top of the board. She was almost there. And then the board was lifted upwards horizontally by the other dancers above their heads. It was like she was dead. She had made it, but the other dancers had become pallbearers, carrying her coffin to the grave. And even on top, she stood up and shouted, still trying to be heard as if saying “I’m not dead!” But nobody else could hear her. She had made it, but it was still so hard to earn respect even when she was at the top. Soon after, she fell back down as if dead. They slid her off the board and onto the ground. All the work only to be back where she started.
There was another part of the dance that showed all of the dancers arguing, perhaps with each other, but probably against some bigger majority. And with a loud boom, they were all pushed back, shoved aside like they didn’t matter. That happened several times, and even after their perseverance, they were still ignored.
Once in the performance, all the dancers were sitting in a straight line facing the audience on chairs. One by one, left to right, each dancer got off of their chair, laid down, and moved on the ground under their chair, as if trying to escape. But then a woman came around, and tugged each of them out of their hiding place, telling them that they cannot escape the injustice, no matter what. They were always dragged back out into the fray each time.
I left the theater completely absorbed in my own thoughts about the dance, the music and with each little part still vividly reenacting itself in my mind. It made me think about lots of stuff. WOW.