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When The Dancer Becomes The Dance

Authors
Publisher
The Ohio State University Libraries
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Musicology

Abstract

Sheri Szeman WHEN THE DANCER BECOMES THE DANCE Art is not the truth. Art is the lie that helps us understand the truth. Pablo Picasso The phonograph whirs as its needle lowers, then violins whisper the key into the lock on the door, his pistol from the holster. He lays it on the desk. The flame wavers before lighting his cigarette. Alone, he paces in the office, fingers brushing gleaming wood of the furniture as he passes. The dark ballerina appears, begins dancing to his music. The violins lift her into arabesque penchie. He reaches out to stroke her cheek, but she shimmers into the shaved scarecrow-girl, into dust flittering in the sunlight cascading through closed windows. Winter light embraces him before he dons his uniform jacket. As each button sighs he becomes the still partner in the ballerina's pas de deux, his hands skimming smooth fabric. The ballerina and violins encircle him. Each time he tries to take her hand, the other girl touches his, then blends into sunlight, pure on his outstretched hand. Bass and violas glide him to the chair behind his desk. He readies the weapon, caresses the metal. The ballerina pirouettes en manege as he holds its steel length to his jaw, cheek, and temple, eyeing her. With each whirl toward the windows, the light flickers her into the pale girl, into itself. Ballerina, scarecrow-girl, sunlight, violins dance ritardando. When they glint into the pale girl again, the trigger jerks under his finger. Cornfield Review-4 The late autumn sun croons to his back as he writes. He rises, paces, smoking foreign cigarettes. The paper mountains on his desk avalanche. He flicks on music, pours a drink, resettles himself behind the desk. Violins harmonize with the scratching of his pen. He remolds some paper hills, signs others. Suddenly, from beyond his window: shouting, swearing: Schmutzige Jude! Hurei He twists toward the window, views his guard goading one of the prisoners: a

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