How do we talk about that which is taboo?
It’s not that we don’t know that there are problems in our world, in our government, even in our home spheres. How is that we find it easy to share images of soldiers coming home to families, but not PSTD; of cute videos of puppies, but not animal cruelty; of our endless lists of first world problems, but not the lack of basic resources in third world counties?
To be fair, there’s not a really a good way to bring up these heavy issues in everyday conversation. You can’t just drop a “Hey, did you hear about the Somalian civil war this morning?” at the water cooler and expect to get much of an honest dialogue going.
In an increasingly politically correct world where even newspapers don’t take sides in issues as huge as the Federal Shutdown, how can we find the words to start these conversations?
Maybe, we don’t need words, but a movement.
I will never be one to dispute the power of the pen, but it can be hard to know how to begin to approach such dangerous topics as war, racism, mental illness. Every conversation needs a springboard; why not dance?
Dance is such an incredibly versatile form; records of its existence date as far back as the records themselves. Almost everyone can dance, whether they’re a full-fledged ballerina, a prancing football player or just your average Joe who bounces to the beat in private.
But for all its adaptability, for all its powerful use of expression, dance is a launching point for a conversation. These ideas, be they about war or peace, will be left on the stage without those who are willing to discuss the issues brought up in their pieces.
“Dance teaches people about team work and respect, to think creatively and express themselves. It can break down gender inequality and teach people to support each other.” says Restless Theater Dance Company CEO Kumori Middleton.
I can’t think of a better place to start a conversation then from there.