As I view the dancers in the video below, I’m struck by their generosity and skill. Jorge on the right of the screen and Garrent on the left are learning a dance titled “The Terracotta Soldier” from the Chinese dancer in the center (for more about the Chinese Terra Cotta Army of soldiers go to mymodernmet.com/terracotta-warriors).
The Concert Dance, Inc. dancers don’t speak Chinese or understand the Chinese social structure. Yet, for what they are trying to accomplish they don’t need to. I once read that speakers communicate 70 per cent of their message through body language and gestures and only thirty percent by their spoken words. You can see this as the dancers begin. They are poised, and pressing into the space.
My dancers’ respect for the movement, openness to learning, and commitment to capturing the tone of the piece is clear. I’m moved. I see them through the eyes of an Artistic Director. They are artists. Their communication is nonverbal, complex, and accurate. Years spent carefully acquiring their movement expertise now seems so natural and second nature to them.
For the duration of the piece they are keenly aware of each other. As they exuberantly ad-lib the final movements, we know they are in a moment of celebration, and so are we.