Mary Ann Lind and Mark Borchelt – The Embodiment of Pathos
Ballet is about connections. Some of the most powerful connections many of us will ever have … come from our times in the ballet world.
Part of that is because we share one heart.
The heart of dance and the perfectionist side of all artists to strive to be the best that we can be is a very rare thing.
It would be rare in any normal work situation. Ballet is a world where everyone is really on the same page of desire, willingness, meticulousness, and the determination because that is what ballet requires.
All dancers understand the tremendous effort, focus, talent, and finesse that is required from us and we willingly accept it and every day, strive to do better.
It is a rare thing in the normal world to have an entire group of people fully dedicated to one central goal, such as a ballet or a performance for months at a time.
I am so very grateful to have felt that powerful connection with so many on such a deep level for such an extended period of time.
There are moments in partnership that can seem to transcend the individuals that are merging and dancing together. There are some partnerships that are so strong and seem so fluid in performances and rehearsals that they seem to make everything seem effortless, timeless, and eternal.
And there are those partnerships that explode on a stage in those moments where the energy of that day, that character, and the flows within choreography cause magic to spontaneously happen in one massive burst of creative potential.
It is as if those moments are known to be fleeting and that this will be the only moment to have the energy just perfect between, the orchestra, the dancers, and the audience, to leave an imprint that extends beyond this time and into the very DNA of those dancing … and those witnessing that special moment.
I spoke about the ballet Anna Karenina before and I have to say once again, that the power of the choreographer is something so profound that it is the creative fuel that can launch such moments in time.
I know that for certain dancers they know that those moments are so unique that they are never forgotten and linger in the emotional matrix within each of them.
One such moment that I witnessed, was between Mary Ann Lind and Mark Borchelt in the leads of Anna Karenina. They were both the third cast and so they only had one show to perform in that run.
One chance to show what they had to share with an audience in that powerful emotional expression that they felt so deeply inside.
One chance to express what longed to be seen and witnessed. One chance to justify all the long rehearsals, and the tremendous effort required to give them this precious moment.
One chance to become the embodiment of these characters and to offer that up to the sacrificial alter of dance and to the Goddess Terpsichore.
And they did not disappoint. I remember watching in the wings and feeling them grab my heart and take me for a ride into the tumultuousness of the Russian heart, the melancholy of the pain of true love found and then lost, and the eternal wail of the human condition that life continuously offered.
For me watching, this was their best performance that I had ever seen either do. It touched me so deeply that it forever changed who I knew both of them to be.
We think we know someone but then there are those special moments when we are given a glimpse into the anguish of a soul that has been hidden from us by their personality.
Then in one performance they are unmasked in the most raw and real way.
It is a very extraordinary moment when someone sheds the skin of ballet and embodies a feeling so deep and profound that the steps and sequences no longer matter, because one feels only the very poignant, heart wrenching truths of the human condition that is too often hidden from modern life because of the classic rules of society.
Their portrayal of these characters sliced open my heart and left me on the floor bleeding with them.
That is a rare thing for any artist to do to me! I am a very educated viewer of all forms of dance. I cannot help but to always be looking at the perfection of lines, the finesse of angles, and the meticulous position and placement of feet, hands, and balance.
Many dancers make me nervous to watch because I see their fear. I feel the slips in my own body when I am watching dancers … almost make a mistake.
It takes a very specific type of dancer to transcend the movement and become … the dance.
In that performance both of them became one and allowed a portal to open that gave me a way to see into the heart and soul of each of them.
As I watched, I could barely breathe. As I moved through the emotions that they embodied I changed and grew.
In the pathos of their partnership, I deepened and learned something about myself that I did not know how to touch or feel.
Such moments are beyond special. Such moments tell me a lot about where I still must expand in my own emotional self.
That performance set me on a journey of internal self-discovery that continues to this day.
Because of their opening a window into themselves. I learned to open a door into mine. Then I learned to not be afraid of the darkest and deepest parts of myself.
My life changed in that moment and I recognized the powerful value in the complicated dark emotions that fuel the passions that cause mankind to leap into, but that allow them to become more whole and real.
I saw that authenticity was a messy and dangerous process. I saw that honesty would not always generate happiness.
But it will give wholeness.
And being willing to be whole is something that most will fear and never embrace.
I think of them often and say a silent but fervent “Thank You!” to both of them for showing me a path that has become my life’s purpose.
It ignited a voice inside that had been silently screaming inside my soul. Unheard by my mind or allowed by my ego.
I am better because of what they were willing to share with all of us.
It changed me to become a better person and it will be remembered in my DNA forever … as it is now etched in the frequencies of being that now give me a doorway towards the courageous unveiling to all of you of what is deep inside my being.
That is the real value of true artists.
They give us a doorway to places that we had no doorway before.
They give us a glimpse of another world, another way, and another possibility.
They inspire a spark of divinity to suddenly penetrate our outer shells and show a path that had never yet been traversed.
Art is the path to wholeness.
Art is the path to peace.
Art is the essential energy to show us what is still yet to be discovered.