Monday, January 16, 2012


I saw an absolutely amazing film this weekend. I never go to movies, and even more than that, I have no interest in 3D and have specifically been not chasing this phenomenon. And yet, I went to this one. PINA, a film for Pina Bausch.

And it was worth it.

And I strongly recommend you go see it.

Lots of powerful stuff, on many, so many, different levels.

Dancing, of course, lots of very unique dancing; but what really stuck with me was the performers' commitment. Not a single move was ever made that didn't have the performer's entire heart, soul, and guts, completely invested. 100%. 1,000%.

A bit of dark humor; one of the performer's dances was done seated on the floor. To describe it briefly, roughly, he was "rearranging" his legs, using his hands and arms alone; he never used his leg muscles to move his legs. You'd think the dancer had precisely the amount of "control" that I have over my legs... Straighten one leg; bend one; flop the bent leg down so the knee hits the floor, but keep the leg bent; move the other leg; spin 90 degrees; repeat. One of the most agile, athletic, artistic performers I had ever seen, doing that artistic performance with about the same amount of "agility" that I have. And yet, what "little" he was doing, he was doing with 100% commitment. 1,000% commitment.

But what really got me, and what made me cry, were the final words of the film. Pina's words, spoken with Pina's voice...

Tanz; tanz, oder wir sind verloren.

Dance; dance, or we're lost.

Fewer words could be directed more appropriately, more directly, more perfectly, to us M.S.ers. They're not about dancing as dancing. They're about living; living the way that Pina approached dancing.

Dance your dance. Not the dance you're "supposed to do"... when you know damned well that it's not your dance. Especially when doing that dance would keep you from doing your dance. Dance the dance that only you can do. The dance that you have to do. As Miles Davis said of the way he played the trumpet, "It's my 'thing.' It's the reason I was born." Your dance is the reason that you were born.

And commit. Commit 100%. Commit 1,000%. Commit and engage with your mind, your heart, your soul, and your guts. With everything you have. Everything.

And remember what one of her dancers said that Pina had told her: "You have to scare me."

So, my friends...


Dance, or we're lost.

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