Friday, October 14, 2016

Don't Ask Pavolva

Ask Anna Pavlova why she danced,
And she will tell you that
Dance is the purest expression of emotion,
Earthly, or spiritual.
Ask me why I love dance,
And I will tell you the same.

But ask me why I am myself,
A dancer
And I will tell you,
so that I may never

Because two hundred years ago,
Women and girls strapped and squeezed themselves into corsets,
Waists so petite, so constricted,
They took man’s breath away.
But my grandmothers were breathless too.
So two classes a week,
I practice an art forged in a cage.

Ask me a second time,
Why I dance
And again I will tell you,
So that I may never forget

That the perfect woman was
Detached from this world,
She is not bone, muscle, passion, flesh like man.
She is a willowy frame
Constructed of gossamer wings and feathers.
So we put her in a pair of shoes
That will make her flutter like a fairy.
But the truth is, my friend---
She is no fairy
And she will not fly
For many years.

-Mariana Kornreich