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Baryshnikov and Green - Laura Wise

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May 30th, 2010


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11:02 am - Baryshnikov and Green
Two things on this Sunday:

First, a link -- a fascinating review by Deborah Jowitt in The Village Voice of an evening of contemporary dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov. (Also, a picture of Mr Baryshnikov in a white shirt.)

The thing of cool: beyond the Benjamin Millepied piece (which I once linked to at t'other place), the Susan Marshall piece sounds amazing. Money quote: One by one, he draws three spectators from the front row and does a little snatch of dancing for each. To emphasize the privacy of it, the first guest starts out seated close to the wings, facing offstage, and Baryshnikov dances out of our sight for several seconds. He’s very gentle with these people—charming—and pretty soon, he’s dancing for all three, filling the space they surround. (Who in the audience didn’t half wish to be up there too?) In the end, Tipton frames each of them in a spotlight, and they take a bow with the star. The message is subtle; he is dancing for each of us, all of us, and without us, it’d be no fun.

Second...on Friday I had a little Fun with Words, in which I wrote about Ms Alice Stonewood and her husband Morgan. I've been thinking about them a little more...



Principal Morgan Stonewood goes out the doors of the high school cafeteria, and, released, the student body collapses over their wrappers and trays and cellphones.

It's not that they don't like him. Principal Stonewood's famous for his smiles: an oddly merry one when he's honestly amused, a kind one when he's trying to help some dumbass sophomore get through a tough patch in Honors History, a proud one when somebody does something cool. He's got an open door if a student needs him.

Of course, he's also famous for this trick he has, this kind of looming thing, where he goes tall and still and cold-eyed and dark-voiced at any hint of trouble. Even the toughest kids, the ones who in another school would be the bullies shoving weaklings into lockers or flicking out knives, back down when he looms.

Stupid Jack Elliot pulled some stupid shit in the courtyard this morning, and there was major looming, and even after Elliot went all hangdog to class, Principal Stonewood still had the eyes and the voice working. He spent the morning stalking the halls, checking on everyone.

The more imaginative students thought they heard a rumble and a rustling as he passed, like storm working through a forest, dark overhead, dark underneath, like heavy branches would fall if the wind twisted the wrong way.

It's hard to enjoy your lunch when Principal Stonewood's in that kind of mood.

But now, tray in hand (on which are bread and butter, salad, and a slice of key lime pie with two forks), Principal Stonewood is walking a little easier. He's headed outside, to the green.

When he took over as principal a decade ago, the first thing he did was plant a circle of ash trees around the school. The school board members protested a bit until he did some modified looming, and then they decided green was perfectly acceptable. They even have a page about the trees on the school-system website. Environmental responsibility, that's what they call it.

Morgan lets them call it what they want. That's not why the trees are there.

He steps lightly into cloud-filtered sunlight, and looks over to the smaller circle of trees within the circle, and smiles his merriest smile.

Thick trunks, heavy leaves even in spring, a hidden place -- but he sees. She's waiting, tall and straight, severe-suited and hands-folded, for him on the stone bench.

"Ms Stonewood," he says, "darling," and in a leap or two enters the circle.

"Morgan, my heart," she says. "Bad morning, was it?"

"You could say that."

"Or I could say worse?"

"No. Just bad." He smiles, crooked and warm.

When he sits next to her, however, he leans just a bit toward her, and she meets him. Her hands unfold so that she can rumple his hair (which will be combed before he goes back in) and undo his tie (which will be knotted, ditto).

He takes off his shoes and socks himself, while she holds the tray.

As they eat lunch, there in the hidden place, he hides his bare feet in the cool fallen leaves. The light is green, green, green all around them, and storms are far away.

.........................


Oh, I wish I had a proper story for them. Alas.

But for today, I send you thoughts of cool and of green. May you have a lovely start to your week!

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:heron_pose
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the dance ... and for the tidbit.

You will find a story for them. By way of encouragement, here's a question -- how do you feel about the disguise each wears in his or her 'dayjob'? Is it a good thing? A necessary evil? Something that must be undone by the 'end' of the story?

Meanwhile, mosquitoes! There are no mosquitoes in that hidden place, I'll wager.

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Morgan and Alice do not believe in mosquitoes in their immediate environs, and so, you're right, no mosquitoes there. [sends them to clear out your place]

Your question is a fascinating one -- I will let it percolate. :-)

But anyway, H_P, hi hi, and good thoughts for your adventure to come, and hugsamillion!

[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm enjoying the little vignettes, but a story would be nice, if one finds you.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Alas! I will try to find a story.

But for now, thanks, and good thoughts for relief sent your way, and good thoughts for rest.
[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Good stuff.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 30th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
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L!

I send thanks, and all good thoughts for a Sunday across the pond, and good thoughts for you in specific. :-)
[User Picture]
From:julia_here
Date:May 30th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
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Thanks ever so for the wonderful piece of dance-writing; after reading the NYT dance reviewer these past few months, I was beginning to think the genre was extinct. He's prone to talk flatly about the choreographer's ideation without ever mentioning how the dancer's performed.

The realization that Misha is sixty makes me feel even older than the knowledge that it will be forty years on Friday since I graduated from high-school. I remember when he was being heralded as "Another Nureyev" and then proved over the years to be something else entirely, something stronger but mor importantly more intelligent, more individual. And most importantly, with a sense of humor that Nuryev couldn't support.

Julia, distracted by memories of the great dance writing in the old Saturday Evening Post of the late sixties.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 30th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
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I really liked Jowitt's review, too. And yes, Misha has kept growing -- he's an inspiration.

Happy Sunday, with good memories of good dance-writing!
[User Picture]
From:nutterbudgie
Date:May 30th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
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OK, I admit to being a fan of Mr. Stonewood, too.

Maybe it's your writing. Cool green. Thank you, I send all my sparks of imagination to you, where they would have a good home.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 30th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Your comment is so cheering, I can't begin to tell you. :-)

Thank you for liking Ms Alice Stonewood and Principal Morgan Stonewood, and thank you for your reading and kind comment.

May it be a fabulous week for you!
[User Picture]
From:wildrider
Date:May 31st, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
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{hugs} for imagination run wild!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 31st, 2010 10:41 am (UTC)
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Thanks and smiles! And good thoughts for a lovely Memorial Day. :-)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 31st, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
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Happy week to you, L! [hugs]

(I do read your Dreamwidth journal once a week, and although I don't have openID, I send good thoughts your way.)
[User Picture]
From:stateless82
Date:May 31st, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
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I'm caught by the different dayjobs they have, and how they meet outside them.

And the dance link is appreciated.

Happy Memorial Day!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 31st, 2010 10:43 am (UTC)
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Alice only comes to have lunch with Morgan when he's had a bad day, of course. :-)

Thank you thank you, S, with hugs and gratitude. Happy Memorial Day to you!
[User Picture]
From:stevie_carroll
Date:May 31st, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
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Lovely addition to their story there.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 31st, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
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Thank you thank you! Good thoughts sent your way. :-)
[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:June 3rd, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
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I was in a hurry before and neglected to click the link, so it was lovely to come back and find this vignette.

Every high school needs a Principal Stonewood. As do we all, individually.

Lovely, lovely images as the wind comes up through the leaves outside my window.

hugs!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 3rd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
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I've had a fabulous time playing with Alice and Morgan (and I might come back at some point) -- I'm glad you enjoyed. :-)

Enjoy the wind through your leaves, too, and have a fabulous rest of your Thursday! [hugs]

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