inspiration and joy

If there’s one thing I wish I could have in the coldest darkest time of year, it’s inspiration and joy. Two things that bring me inspiration and joy are dance and music. I know little to nothing about either discipline.  Probably because of that, I get excited and propelled creatively by them; I can’t analyze it at all, because I don’t have the vocabulary or tools, so how can I overanalyze it?

In any case, this morning as I was cleaning the kitchen, the song “Right as Rain” by pop singer Adele came on the radio. Out of nowhere, I was compelled to dance like a rag doll, like a Peanuts character, like a Muppet. My dogs ran in barking, and I danced with them while they barked and wiggled in circles and wagged their tails joyfully.  This song always makes me dance, and I’m not a dancer.

That music reminds me of years ago when Twyla Tharp visited the McCarter Theatre while I worked there. Her dance company’s show had sold out so quickly I couldn’t get a ticket, and I had to work in the box office that night anyway. I was sitting in the box office when I heard someone whisper, “There she is.” Along one side of our office were floor-to-ceiling glass windows that looked out onto a brick walkway and out into the leafy, blossomy spring evening. A woman was sitting on a wooden bench, smiling and laughing, as another woman stood and told her a story, her back to the window. This woman was petite and all muscle and sinew, like a racehorse, in jeans and a T-shirt, with a cap of bobbed silver hair. It was Twyla Tharp. As she told this story, which none of us could hear, she became more and more animated, all elbows and hands, knees and feet, bounce, swing and glide, rhythym and melody, and her friend laughed. We sat in the box office like the wrong species in a duck blind, looking across the darkened office to the bright window, as she made her friend laugh uncontrollably on a spring evening.

It was better than the show could have been.  I bought her book on creativity. Before I could even get through the first two chapters my mother “borrowed” it from me and then “lost” it. I’m still furious about it and I want it back, Mom.

I sincerely wish Twyla Tharp would choreograph a dance piece for Adele‘s song “Right as Rain.” I think their styles go together.

But in the meantime, try this, because it’s really fun.

1) Go to and sign up for a trial membership. It’s free and you get free downloads.

2) Download Adele’s Grammy-award nominated album, 19. It’s good stuff.

3) Go to YouTube and bring up BeetTV‘s video, Dancy Dancy by Twyla Tharp.

4) Hit Pause immediately, but let it load.

5) In the YouTube video pane, mute YouTube’s sound.

6) Open your mp3 player and bring up “Right as Rain” by Adele. Cue it up and hit pause.

7) When you’re ready, hit “play” on the mp3 player and then play on the YouTube video.

I guarantee you, this is at least as much fun, if not more so, as Dark Side of the Wizard of Oz.


~ by manifenestration on December 19, 2008.

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