Ballet: Agony of the Feet” by Tim Burton
Taken from The Orlando Sentinel, Sunday, September 6,1998
…There is grace and nobility in those feet.
It may not be physical, like dancing en pointe…
…but beneath the achievement of grace–in whatever art, there is a form of torture, peculiar to the art, that lies unseen to others, and without which–that grace will never be achieved.
I remembered that article when I read a post on my beautiful machine/danseur ignoble. Asher writes about dance–not in the abstract, not as one who is watching, but from and out of the experience of their body. Muscles. Bones. Joints. Is it that dance is to the body as mind is to the brain?
Asher’s style is direct, unadorned–it’s the language of the barre, of the pianist learning scales, of listening to the body with such finely tuned perception that the body learns to hear itself without intervention, without intention.
I think of those time lapse photos where you see the body of the moving dancer following as though pure spirit, pure dance–a veil of movement. Asher doesn’t say much about that. He writes of what you see in the image of those beautiful, damaged feet in the photo above. Of the pain, the exhaustion–and the exhilaration of learning, of stretching every muscle and joint toward the impossible: toward perfection.
This is how an artist does philosophy. Read their posts, and learn.