The Great Lover … Ballet
As a dancer, the experience of human, romantic love … seemed on the back burner.
Ballet was my first true love.
As far as I was concerned, nothing could compare to its beauty, satisfaction, thrills, journeys, emotional intensity and fulfilling expressions.
Ballet was a passionate lover that gave me permission to find totality of my being and exciting ways to express itself.
It knew how to coax more expression out of me and showed me infinite outlets into magical worlds where I was allowed to wander into and find my way out of.
Dance was a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, feelings, and flavors. Ballet was never the same … because in each moment I was asked to stretch a bit more. It asked me to feel into something deeper, and find parts of myself that had been hidden from my consciousness and that also seemed hidden from the external view of others.
Ballet had a rhythm that enticed delicious feelings out my arms and legs. It allowed me to feel the soft swirls of silk across my skin as I moved.
Ballet allowed me to journey beyond my own identity and into worlds that were new, wondrous, and magical.
Ballet opened doors and allowed me to wander through realities that gave me the feelings of depth that I craved to taste and that I knew were possible.
The portals of ballet and dance allowed me to tap into what felt was more organic to my soul and more like my home.
This world, while lovely, complicated, and dramatic felt somehow … shallow to my core, and those highly perceptive parts of myself. This world had enough to offer. But there were too many that feared embracing it completely.
My home (in some very far away galaxy) always felt artistically precise, emotionally integrated, and it approved of all forms of creative expression.
In my reality, I loved the feelings that arose from the slipping of air through silk, as it touched my skin and as it caressed around my partners face when I flew into his arms.
And yes, I felt I was an extension of that silk fabric and I felt as if I was inside the strands of thread. I experienced that by moving ever so slightly differently, that fabric could undulate in ways and in waves of bliss that would linger in the flows of movement and suspend time in the crescendos of the music.
Ballet was the lover that probably saved me on every level.
I was dancing during the AIDS epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s, and we lost a generation of fabulous dancers, artists, musicians, and actors to this terrible disease. Being married to my art, I have seen how often it kept me alive, healthy and out of trouble.
In the Berlin Ballet, when we would go on tour, it was amazing how many sexually interesting things were going on all around me.
In such moments, being the “virgin” had its advantages because no one really went for me sexually.
Dancers are often either virgins or whores. As a younger person, that sexual door was tightly shut, and I did not have the energy to expend in that way.
Because of that, I probably missed a few sexual overtures that never registered to me, as I had my ballet blinders on … being so married to my art.
In the external world, most human roles were clearly defined and carried hard edges, with sometimes fatal consequences … for not following the telepathic agreement fields of this reality.
Moving through the tools of ballet and dance gave me the space to move from spontaneous rapture to raging hatred.
And those wild extremes were exactly who I was deep inside.
Life does not always condone such powerfully intense expressions in our very socially controlled world.
The “real” world does not give humanity such extreme manifestations of approval or opportunity … easily.
This world favors discipline and control.
That control is expected to be learned so that one has first control over the self and the emotions. Then if one is well-adapted to this agreement field, then one gets opportunities to control others.
That was never what I wanted this life to be about.
I did not come to this world to be a controller, but to invite others into a deeper game and to marvel at the most precious flavors and feelings that can ensnare the mind and entice the senses.
I came to enrapture souls and to bewitch egos into surrender.
Nureyev taught me that when a soul controls itself and its expressions then there is no creativity, no magic, no spark, and no art. Only when the soul is allowed to find an emotional flow and follow it though to its own completion … do we find our own limitless potential.
Nureyev taught me that to be a powerful beauty … then hiding somewhere deep inside … there had to be a monstrous beast.
When I look back at my life, I can see that I was taught to fear conflicts. But Rudi showed me that it is conflicts that feed creative expressions and lead us towards greatness.
Rudi was a walking, talking, dancing, feral tantrum.
He threw the old rules of social conduct out the window, lit them on fire, and dared others to roll across them with him.
He made me aware of my obliging fears that kept me proper and yet, longing.
While I could never be what and who he was … out in public. On a stage and portraying a character, I found ways to let out the snake inside that wanted to slither around another’s body. He showed me that I could be a demi-god that relished causing soldiers to lose their minds in war and thrive in murder and mayhem, rape and pillaging. He showed me the healing that happens when one embraces the hedonism of a condemned soul.
He showed me how to allow a ballet barre in the studio could become a magician’s staff on a stage that assaulted the sanctity of the established social order.
Art (to him), needed to be as loud as it was eloquent.
While ballet is silent, he showed that when passions are expressed through the body … they are anything but.
I learned that when one does not embrace the pain, then the soul lives in a constant state of panic … desperately seeking relief from the psychological soot of the human condition.
Rudi showed me that while dance is wordless, the body is eternally shouting at God, as we make earth our confessional. He taught me that we are here to embody that our very existence is to embrace the struggle between the potential of our aesthetic grace and creative spirit … with the convulsions of the decadence that is within each of us as it longs to become a sacred monster with the power to reshape, heal, and transform mankind.