Monday, May 11, 2009

Time to go

Its about 1:30 in Jordan. In 30 minutes we board a bus for the airport and a 4:30 flight out to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The notion of leaving this part of the world is strange now. I've just come from watching from the back of the balcony a performance of Dancing in One Language, our ubiquitous outreach program performed today for the entire student body here at King's. I am reminded always that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. The young people here take in the program in so much the same way as they do in Anacostia, in Rockville, in Philadelphia. They find the same charm in Roger & Lucie (the tale of a boy and the mop with which he falls in love after she comes to life in classic Disney fashion), they find the same odd vocabulary and confusion leading to fascination with "Harmonica Breakdown," Jane Dudley's 1938 masterwork about change and challenge in New York.

And what is not so different, though you would think it is, is that few have seen what we do here as few have seen what we do in the States. Dance is new in this part of the world -- modern dance, western dance -- and yet we encounter this at home in almost the same way. Each program is an introduction. Each program is a guide, a window, into what could be, given a chance, a truly universal language. What stop it from being so is the striking lack of exposure, not the lack of commonality. We do speak these languages of movement together. Today is just further proof of a truth that needs more time, and more advocates, to flower.

Time to pack up, say farewell, for now, to Jordan and to an extraordinary country, people and time in life.

But we'll be back.

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