When Marsha sent me this piece, I had to smile. It took me back more than a decade.
Long, long ago, when we were teenagers (I think…I’m bad with chronology), Marsha and I were both training intensively in our chosen art forms. She practiced increasingly complex and beautiful pieces of music on the piano, and I practiced increasingly complex and beautiful steps in ballet class.
And when we hung out at her house, we had a ritual of going into the play room where the piano was. She would play through her pieces, and I would stand in the small rectangle of open space behind her and dance. I’ve lost a lot of memories from my childhood, but this one remains a treasured favourite.
Marsha went home over Easter weekend, and she recorded this piece on the very same piano she used to play on when we’d dance and play together. And this video is my response.
I call this piece “Muscle Memory” because I started out with the idea of doing a very “balletic” dance (and you can see how the dance begins and ends that way). I wanted to see if I could still capture the essence and feeling of the dances I used to do in the play room, having not taken a ballet class in 8 years.
I think I managed it…but it wasn’t very comfortable (physically as well as emotionally—the inside of my right knee did NOT enjoy my attempts at turnout). And I couldn’t sustain it for the whole piece. I still like the end result, though. It’s more Meg-now than Meg-then, but it still, I hope, pays homage to the young girls in the play room.
Thank you, Marsha, for a beautiful piece, and for the great memories. <3