because the personal is cultural
When the city of Montreal advised its population not to drink tap water because it might be unsafe, a friend living in Turkey wrote on Facebook, “We don't drink tap water here at all. We order big fat 19 liter jugs of water that are delivered by men who carry six of them at once on their scooters while talking on their cell phones with no helmet on. True story!”
One of her friends replied, “In Guatemala, we get water from the guy that delivers them by foot, 3 at a time up the hill. Guatemalans are badass! You can also get them from the tuk-tuk guy if you live in a remote area, by remote I mean on the other side of the street.” Yet another person chimed in: “It's exactly the same in India.”
The first comment had been, “Yep, water is seriously taken for granted in Canada.” And maybe that’s the problem with beauty. It’s what we take for granted. It’s not less present. It’s just less noticeable.
When one of the seven dancers in Robyn Orlin’s Beauty Remained for Just a Moment Then Returned Gently to her Starting Position… asks, “God, have you found your own beauty?”, the question could be understood in at least two ways. It could be about God perceiving Himself as beautiful, which would not be an irrelevant question if one believes that Man was made in God’s image. It could also be about beauty being not perceived by the mind, but produced by it.
We rarely talk about it, but it’s not always human beings that fail nature; sometimes it’s life that fails us. Sometimes there is no sun, literal or otherwise, and we must shine a light of our own and pretend. That’s probably when human beings are most beautiful; when they refuse to submit to the arbitrary ways of the universe.
This is but one of the many things we accomplish with art. We compensate. We make up for the lacks of the world.
A performer jumps up and down and asks, “Sun, can you jump like this?” It is often hard not to feel small in the face of the cosmos. But what if we didn’t think in terms of size or quantity or time, but in terms of qualities? No, the sun cannot jump like this. Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder. It is also in the body of the mover.
May 23 & 24 at 8pm
Monument-National – Salle Ludger-Duvernay
514.844.3822 / 1.866.984.3822
Tickets: 43-48$ / 30 years old and under: 38-43$
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has an MA in Film Studies and works in contemporary dance. His fiction has appeared in Headlight Anthology, Cactus Heart, and Birkensnake.
s.verstricht [at] gmail [dot] com