Ten Tiny Dances

CounterCurrent17: Ten Tiny Dances® was beautiful last night. And also sad. To see such movement, such rage and joy, pleasure and pain in the bodies of the performers on that tiny box of a stage was moving. Watching all of it happen in the shell of what used to be a grand mid-century post office was the sad part. Sad because I couldn't help but read that shell of a building as the physical incarnation of state disinvestment. What had been a dream of the 1960s, a modernist dream at least partially based on the idea that government has a role to play in taking care of its citizens, in providing services in elegant public spaces. Now, as this president threatens to launch new wars and continues the myriad US-sponsored wars around the world and fills the coffers of the military, supposedly we have no money for something as simple as a beautiful downtown post office. Last night, it felt like those people on the box were dancing inside of a grave of some sort. And many of the dances felt rageful, broken, angry, on edge, mournful. I'm happy the building has not, hopefully will not, be demolished. But I'm sad about what that structure now represents: a lost idea about what a State might be able to accomplish when it actually cares about its citizens.