Yesterday I went up to the Stardisc in the afternoon to meet and dance with two young Australian dancers, Alice and Adam from company Lingua Franca, part of the artists’ exchange between Wirksworth and New South Wales. I’d never met with them before and we greeted each other and began to dance with no further verbal communication. We danced for half an hour as the sun came and went and the rain fell, making the surface of the Stardisc dark and gleaming, so we danced with our reflections too. It was playful, dynamic, unpredictable as dancing with two young ponies, and just so much fun.
I have thought recently how a world without voice would be – if we only communicated through dance. It’s a funny thought. Imagine parliament. It would be something like the opening section of Jooss’ ballet The Green
Table. To communicate through a form of movement that must not harm anyone. Another world. The language of movement is abstract, of emotion rather than reason. It’s more than this too. The language of the soul?
It's a language that some of us must speak, and that many would be enriched by discovering.
My young friend, another Adam, who had no verbal language, often communicated through a gentle hand dance – a slight fluttering movement of wrist and fingers against my own. I miss that now he’s died. It was unique only to him.
At the end of Salamanda Tandem’s wonderful performance Quarry-o-sion in Shaw’s Quarry on Sunday I spoke to one of the volunteers who’d helped the company over three days of setting up and performing. ‘My world has been opened up,’ she said.
That’s the power of movement.
Tricia Durdey dances, writes, and teaches Pilates.