Sunday, 29 June 2008

Dancing at Weddings with Cyd Charisse and Sir Philip Sydney


~ Sir Phillip Sydney ~

My true love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

I was asked to read this poem at a friend’s wedding yesterday. Well technically it was a blessing as they had already had a very romantic wedding in Trinidad, where the bride hails from. I am still recovering, not from the drink (I had to drive home) but from the dancing. I love dancing in a strange and uncontrollable manner, a bit like a giraffe on ecstasy. A long time ago, I started this blog by revealing that when I get an acceptance letter from a publisher or poetry magazine I do a ritual little dance round the kitchen. It is a private vice but very uplifting, tapping into the tribal unconscious. A wedding in almost all cultures, unless it's a very dreary uptight culture, involves a bit of dancing to mark the union of two people.

Dancing together, dancing alone, partners dancing, small children dancing with parents and grand parents, teenagers desperate to escape dancing with parents and grandparents; all human dance life can become available at a wedding. I am not talking ballroom, salsa, sophisticated move dancing here but the ‘doing your own thing’ dancing that allows you to imitate Tina Turner, Mick Jagger and John Travolta badly. Dancing that lets you act out all the words to ‘I will survive’. There is always a mix of very cool move dancers, uncoordinated dancers, abandoned dancers, self conscious dancers. As the bride was from Trinidad we had a great mix of reggae and soul music and the disco man dressed rather oddly in a black shirt and white bow tie even threw in some Hip-Hop now and then. People either flooded the dance floor or backed off according to their dancing comfort zone.

Me? Well I had a bad go at everything and am paying for it today. Was it the sixties twist that got my knees or the High Ho Silver Lining that ricked the shoulder or the Bob Marley that put my back slightly out of kilter. Nevertheless it was great to dance. The last time I danced in public was at another friend’s wedding nearly three years ago so I was just one big pent up dance move waiting to happen, bursting at the seams with flailing arms and uncontained hip action.

If you are going to celebrate how can you not include dancing? A nice meal, drinks, speeches, chat and then out the door is all very pleasant but add dancing into the mix and then you have a real celebration. When feeling a little gloomy try dancing to a little MoTown or whatever makes your feet itch to move. it taps into something deeply human, it makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself and it gets those happy endorphins licking in.
We danced to celebrate life, happiness, togetherness, plain joy so it’s worth every stiff muscle today, in fact I might limber up later with a little Aretha or maybe Abba. Now if I could have moved last night like the late Cyd Charisse I’d be a happy and probably less stiff woman but it may be that I was a Fred Astaire short of a dance floor spectacular.

Now go off and dance in the kitchen alone, with the hamster, the postman, the pot plant or if you are lucky with someone who has your heart.

PS The painting at the top is a Breughal entitled The Wedding Dance


Peter Howard said...

I didn't dance, but went into the garden and discussed philosophy and literature and stuff. For this reason, it was the most enjoyable party I've been to in ages. Each to their own I suppose, but I really appreciated not having my head pounded by insistent disco flak. *Not* dancing has its own dynamic.

Peter Howard said...

You're the top Google hit for the search string "we liked it but not quite enough"

Writearound said...

A good wedding indeed where one group can dance and another as I recall at some point could happily discussing Nietzsche's madness,the legal wrangle over the ownwership of the manuscript Under Milk Wood and the Buddhist philosophy of being in the moment, with only the slightest whiff of the Rolling Stones in the background.
I am pondering who would want to cold google, we liked it but not quite enough?

Mrs Slocombe said...

There is no such thing as cold googling. Sounds like fun though. The dancing, that is.