I led a small discussion group at Grace Cathedral last night on ?Art and Spirit,? with a particular focus on dance. They asked me to bring videos, and I was happy to oblige. My participation was somewhat on the fly, so I reached for two perhaps predictable, certainly safe choices:
–Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins dancing the opening pas de deux from Balanchine?s ?Chaconne,? as included on the must-have Balanchine DVD.
–Paul Taylor dancing his solo from ?Aureole? (spliced with footage of Patrick Corbin learning the role), as captured in the beautifully edited documentary Paul Taylor: Dancemaker.
Then, to spice things up, I finished with a less-than-ideal, commercially unavailable recording of the final section from Doug Elkins? ?Center My Heart.? It?s set to Islamic devotional songs but much of the movement clearly arises from Elkins? hip-hop background. I think it?s gorgeous, but I have a hard time second guessing audiences, and I was worried the sub-par video wouldn?t allow the work?s beauty to shine through. I was wrong?the group members were thoroughly taken by it. And I was thrilled to share something I love.