dance #43, the puppeteer III x 2

The Puppeteer III x 2

On Assignment: Craft one dance in the morning, just after you wake. Craft another dance in the evening before you go to bed.


“In addition,” he said, “these puppets have the advantage of countergravity. For they know nothing of the inertia of matter, which of all properties is the most obstructive to the dance: for the force that lifts them into the air is greater than that which pulls them to the ground. What would our dear Madame G– not give to be lighter by sixty pounds, or for a counterweight of this size to help her with her entrechats and pirouettes? Puppets, like elves, require the ground only to touch on, and by that momentary obstruction to reanimate the spring of their limbs; while we require it to rest on, and to recover from the exertions of the dance: a moment which is clearly not dance in itself, and with which there is nothing to be done except to make it disappear by all possible means.”
Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1814) “On the Puppet Theater” (1811). From An Abyss Deep Enough: Letters of Heinrich von Kleist with a Selection of Essays and Anecdotes. Edited, Translated, and Introduced by Philip B. Miller. EP Dutton.

dance #43

5:50 a.m. Morning dance. A 3 minute dance in the living room transducing text from Kleist on puppets. On counter gravity. The force that lifts is greater than that which pulls me down. Just out of bed. Bleary. Soft. A light dance with little pulses in my heels and wrists. Lift. Pulse. Eyes closed. Mind soft and wandering, racing off into the day. Trying to stay present. Alice on the footstool, grooming. The night is still with us.

10:35 p.m. Evening dance. A 4 minute dance in the living room to the same text. This time I feel gravity. Lift then fall. Weighted limbs. Curving over. Falling forward. A pulsing and pattering of feet. Downward. I’m a counter-puppet, falling into gravity. Alice is upstairs waiting. It’s a beautiful night. Clear skies. Crescent moon is bright and high. A cooling night after a gorgeous sunny day. -3 degrees Celsius and falling.

~ by nmyers on February 2, 2009.

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