Off-Cut Twenty

Getting the balance of all the ingredients of a performance right is one of the singularly most difficult tasks for an actor. But it is not only actors who find that balancing competing intellectual, intuitive, emotional and creative forces is a difficult challenge. All creative people do - dancers included. This excerpt from a Jane's Dream Sight newsletter (Issue 25, September 2000) explores, through the metaphor of the dancer, the difficulties of balancing life itself. Jane Anderson's website can be found at www.dream.net.au

In night dreams I am the most spectacular dancer, always harmoniously partnered, cheek to cheek, heart to heart, soul to soul. ...And from each dream dance, a great lesson is learned.

My earliest dance lessons came from my father as he waltzed me around the lounge room, my little feet perched upon his big, dependable shoes.

I once dream danced with someone I knew from waking life. It was a kind of reversal of my father's waltz routine. In this dream dance the man placed his feet on mine and we waltzed the perfect waltz. The strangeness of the dream was that instead of me dancing his balancing feet through the steps, he was in control of the dance. He was the one calling the tune. He was dancing me as he stood firmly and fully on my toes. On waking I realised that this man had indeed, in waking life, called the steps. He had often trodden on my toes, but I had not recognised this and so the dance had been perfect for my learning at that time.

Life is always in harmony and balance, even when it seems not to be so. What we need to learn about ourselves is reflected in our world. I needed to learn about issues of control and being controlled, of restriction and freedom, through the delirious dance of the trodden toes. We danced to the pendulum of extremes until the calmness of the middle path stilled the motion and the dance came to its natural end.

Yet people in our dreams are not themselves, but aspects of our own selves. My treading-toes dance partner was the part of myself which danced the tune of conditioned restriction and lovingly taught the lesson of breaking free. He was my outer world, my Yang. I was his inner world, his Yin. We danced, cheek to cheek, Yin to Yang in search of the still calm point between us.

September 2000


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