Opposing Forces, a hip-hop fantasia

I think I’ve got the address wrong; I don’t know anyone at this party. I look at my invitation, it’s clearly stated that this party is my birthright.

The hostess is not present so I wander about. Each room houses a starling showcase of masculinity. Theatrical moves rule in the ballroom. At the top of the stairs a man, Houdini-like, attempts to escape a padded box, while in an adjacent chamber a muscle man rips off his clothing to reveal a beating heart. In the corridors, there are exquisite pas de deus where the partners keep shifting who is strong and who is weak, who is led and who is the initiator. The pantry has been transformed into a photography studio. In the garden, games of geometric tag are interrupted by flashes of lightening. And then, a masked troupe of commedia dell arte players approach amid heckler’s cries, graceful, and mesmerizing.

In the courtyard a young man builds himself from the ground up, showing us his shaky legs, his tremulous nerves, his arms outstretched to cradle the world. He perfects his craft until, in his words, it isn’t about how it looks, but how it feels. His transcendent form reminds me of a dancer from another century.

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I leave sensing my place within this spectacle and how disparate elements – set, costumes, lighting, music, choreography – can come together perfectly in the service of human expression.

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