I write this after watching the above video a second time, and again, my eyes welled up upon watching the video, and again, my fresh second wind of tears have yet to dry.
This character’s dance, this scene, hits me on so many levels now, probably because of the fact that it used to do nothing for me at all.
Yesterday, I danced modern like it was meant to be danced — not from the brain, but from somewhere deeper within, where I let my body talk, express, and connect on its own — where thinking, interpreting, letting the external world influence me ceased to matter — and I let my body speak without inhibition.
It started when we were doing a hand dance, and we each had a turn to take the hand dance from the person before us and create a dance of our own that everyone else would follow, before passing it on to the next person beside us. I knew we had to create the dance, but what I didn’t know was that our dance created the music — that the two people there playing the electric guitar and seated drum for us were shaping their music based on our movements. I only realized that when I slowed to a stop, and the music stopped, and didn’t restart until I started moving again.
It was then that I was truly free! That I let my hands and arms make music from my heart, knowing I wasn’t required to listen to anything else at all. And it was the most liberating feeling. And the song that came from my heart was strong and powerful. There was no timidity, but a force to be reckoned with. I could hear it in the music being created to match my movements, and the feeling behind them. I could see it in the dancers around me, emulating my movements.
Now I know why I connect with waacking. Because it lets me express power and strength through arm movement. And I didn’t even use waacking in my hand dance. I simply translated the feeling into it.
I feel so free and joyous.
My brother Ryan, just last month, told me that he used dance in high school to express everything he was going through, and that it was the actors and real artists who would come up to him later and tell him that they could see that what he was doing was not “just dancing”, but expressing his very soul.
I feel like I finally understand.
I feel like I can finally start to use dance to do this myself, for myself.
Thank you, brother, for pushing me to get at these realizations and experiences that I wouldn’t even think to consider without your guidance.
It’s when you can dance for yourself, and live for yourself, with not a single care about impressing anyone, that you can begin to dance and live as freely and joyously as Hwang Jin-Yi. That people will be drawn to you and connect to, and with, you because they simply can’t help it.
Her life purpose, I think, was to share, though dance, the beauty and joy she discovered (after a lifetime of heartache and pain), through living with the people as they lived, coming to understand them, and choosing to share the rest of her life and her newfound joy and happiness with the people, rather than the courtiers and “important” people she’d grown up with and spent her life serving as a gisaeng (Korean geisha).
My life purpose is to write.