Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

Ballet season is around the corner. Sweet jesus, yes. One more performance of The Nutcracker to go, and then that [ahem, tired] standard is packed up again until next Christmas. So ready for the real action to hit. The SF Ballet has another exquisite season planned, and I find that I'm already wishing January away so that sparkles and split leaps can once again fill my evenings.

In the meantime, god, do I love me some Alonzo King LINES Ballet. This gem of a contemporary ballet company calls San Francisco home, and we're lucky enough to find its dance center (rich with community dance classes as well as professional-caliber training) right downtown off Market Street. You can hit the SF Public Library, the Asian Art Museum and the LINES dance center all in one fell swoop, and then pick up some drugs on the corner on your way home. Sa-weeet.

In all seriousness: holy inspiration. I love, love, love the cross-pollination between art, music, dance and yoga here; really, when we're talking about union (that real definition of yoga), that drawing-together of body, mind and spirit, the arts are where that happens, more than anywhere else. It's hard not to crave that stillness, that silence of a dark auditorium, proscenium or not, or even a black box studio, where you can slip into listening and breathing and sighing away whatever chatter's running through your monkey mind, and just be there now to watch a body or six become an instrument of art.

Watch this excellent short video from the LINES ballet. It's got spirit, soul, direction, inspiration, and artistic legitimacy to fuel you for ages. There are days when I want to chuck everything and go back to being about twelve and just commit to spending my life in a leotard and tights and maybe some character shoes to balance out the uptight ballet action, hair pulled back and mind quiet and body breathing heavily. This is one of those days. (Erghh, time.)

So this video will have to do instead. Enjoy it, think about playing your own instrument, ruminate on finding that intuitive space in your own art, whatever that might be. And I'll see you on the mat, or in the studio, or at the theater, or at that divey jazz club in the wee hours. Holy arts. Sacred arts. We are so blessed with flashes of inspiration like this, which remind us so authentically what it is to be alive, in a body, which breathes, and feels, and moves, on a Monday morning in December.

LINES Ballet from LINES Ballet on Vimeo.


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