Love, Manhood and Ballet
My friend Dr. Michael Horn surprised me with birthday tickets to the final performance of BalletBoyz at the Ahmanson on the first full weekend of November 2014. It’s the same theatre I saw Glenn Close’s incredible finale as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard with Marcy in 1994. To create this magnificent performance, 80 “boyz” came to London from around the world for the open call. Ten were chosen.
The performance was rigorous yet intimate. Sensual yet powerful. Beautiful yet strong. Sheer male energy, tempered with the feminine energy that created a sort of malleability that allowed the powerful motions to become very tender, even sensual.
Dancing is life, and life means relationship. These men invested themselves fully in relationship with each other. Like every sordid love affair or long smoldering romance — so each dance also has a beginning, a climax, and an end.
As everything ends, we fold ourselves back into the larger community for love and support. It is then that we come to grips with our choice to let the experience shape us into something even more beautiful, or draw us back in fear.
Every relationship can ultimately be an example, or a cautionary tale. Did we dance with passion? Did we stand for something? Did we love deeply and with all of our being? This is the energy that gets absorbed back into a larger consciousness.
These amazing dancers reminded me that as men, we often run, hide, volley, play, fight, or retreat in solitude. At the end of the road, our highest legacy as human beings is just to love, and be loved. Whether we love in solitude, or as part of a couple, or some other arrangement—as men, we have the power to build each other up, or tear each other apart.