When Shiva dances, his soul is free from the illusions that cripple him. Everything disappears. Light and dark. Yes and no. Now and then. Right and wrong. You and me. Just one. When Shiva dances, the universe is uncluttered and clear as day and what blinds him (and us) from his true nature emerges pure, unprocessed and glittering. When Shiva dances, his movements mirror what dances in his heart and what dances in his heart is true. And that’s the point of dance — to find one’s truth.
To find the truth I got dressed and left the house. I got in my car and sped toward two of the juried showcases held during the Performing Arts Exchange (PAE), an annual performing arts booking, showcasing and professional development conference that attracted performing artists from around the country to Miami Beach and the mainland. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about, but I knew I was looking for a heart.
Shuttling between two locations — the Miami Light Project and the Little Haiti Cultural Center — for 14 15-minute performances in two hours or less can make one go mad. That’s when I thought of Shiva, the Cosmic Dancer, and how his dance emits energy to transform or destroy the obstacles in his way.
So, what to write about? Obstacles? Dancing Shiva? Light. When the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater emerged on stage at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, it clicked. I was looking for light and how light bends to the mood or feels inherent in every choreography. Each performance emitted a specific frequency to the audience. For example, tarantula nightmare. That’s what came to me while photographing the second movement of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater. As the dancers slowly moved their arms around each other, an image of a tarantula emerged and haunted me. I hate spiders.
Then blue ghosts appeared as clear as day when Dance Now! Miami’s dancers floated across the stage. Their bodies and the light reflected off of them revealed an inner light, a cosmic glow contained within a ghostly blue haze. It was startling and beautiful to experience the heart of a choreography from the outside looking in. Dancers transmitted the truth of the dance to the audience in a mystical haze. This perspective freed me from the pressure and obstacle of analyzing what I saw, and instead it allowed me to experience what the dancers experienced. It let me let the movements exist for what they were, instead of what I wanted them to mean to me.