Saturday, 23 August 2014

Chapter 1 - the beginning - Troupes and Artists

Brooke flicked through her CD's looking for road trip music to pass the time as she prepared for the three hour drive to the beach house at Saville. 

She was meeting Mason and Mia, a couple of the members at the half-way point, where they'd then all travel together and join the other group members for their end-of-year celebrations and well-earned break after the gruelling 3 month tour.

It had been a huge year for Brooke, getting selected to join the Troupe after the 3-staged audition and group interview and then to finally hear her name called out as a Yes was truly music to her ears.

The tour had been amazing as the troupe filled venues all along the east coast performing at clubs, auditoriums and theatrettes to expectant crowds. With the applause at the end of shows and shouts for encore, the troupe knew they hadn't disappointed.

The hours of daily rehearsal they put in paid off when the spontaneous applause erupted in the venues. It was deeply satisfying for the members, all who honed and boosted their natural talent with years of practice and training with the commitment being no hardship. 

Their graceful physiques moved in sync with one another so that the beauty of their self-expression materialised before audiences.

As Brooke casually flipped through the CD's filled with a range of musical genres, her eye caught a CD she'd bought a while ago. She rested on the singer's name as the aluminium layer of the CD caught the light, sending sun beams throughout the car.

She picked it up and put the CD into the player and watched transfixed as the CD was pulled quickly into the player's inner workings and the familiar whirring sound signalled the start of sweet melody.

Brooke relaxed, anticipating the music about to fill the car as she reversed out of the driveway.

She idly listened to the tracks as her journey took her through the suburbs. The car stopped and started for lights, at intersections and for mysterious traffic jams where there was no reason for them, except perhaps for the variables associated with motorists, not yet ready to move off from the lights. 

She wound her way along the familiar roads, until finally the route took her out of the city. The traffic thinned and she accelerated away from the outskirts of the last town, overtaking dump trucks and earth-moving equipment, on their way to build new housing estates, for those seeking tree changes. Brooke sped past them reaching the last leg of the road before the open highway.

As Brooke rounded the final bend she slipped into 5th gear and as she set herself up to cruise down the other side, the CD player clicked onto song # 18.

From the first instrumental beat to flow out of the car's speakers, she was stirred. The mix of instrumental arrangements and the singer's falsetto range ignited a primal urge deep within sending a tingling reaction throughout her body. Finally the sensations reached the pit of her stomach and she found herself swaying to the beat of the music.

The open highway unfolded before her, with no other cars in sight. The trees and grassland flashed past on her peripheral vision. Both the intoxicating rhythm in the song and the sense of freedom on the open highway was exquisite.

She pressed her foot on the accelerator and as the dial turned slowly to the right, she thought of their last performance where the Artistic Director had asked her to take the Lead when the main dancer had fallen ill.  It had been electrifying, not only to be asked but to Lead the troupe. 

The years of work, dedication and commitment the troupe had invested came to fruition as the audience stood and applauded, crying 'encore, encore.' The troupe bowed departed the stage and returned to be met, this time with urgent applause until they finally conceded and rose once more for one final performance.

It was no hardship, the commitment, dedication and hours of work in training and practice. It wasn't simply the desire for technical perfection which drove them to push their bodies to extreme limits, nor was it the desire for recognition or attention which saw them live and breathe dance.

For them, Dance was Life. It was a primal urge a desire for self-expression, mixed with passion, emotion and unbridled freedom, which saw the Artists extend themselves beyond the realms of reality.

They were nothing if not to Dance, immersing their souls and heart into their art, using their bodies as vessels for self-expression with effortless precision so captivating, audiences paid to be entertained and to live vicariously through the lives of others, learning and gaining insight, unwittingly through dance, movement and music. 

As the song on the CD reached a crescendo she wondered about the singer, she admired him, his talent, and his creativity.

Her mind drifted away and thoughts of travel...and of him crowded her mind.
The road was straight with no cars in sight. Brooke had a clear view of the open highway and suddenly in the distance stepping out from a line of eucalyptus trees was a tall shadowy figure.

Continuing to move to the rhythm of the music Brooke slowed the vehicle as the shadowy figure moved away from the trees and onto the highway. The figure was tall with a slim build with long jet black hair. 

Brooke slowed the car right down and as the song's final chorus filled the inside of the cabin, she stopped the car.

The figure faced Brooke and Brooke face the figure. The song permeated the air and despite tension, Brooke could not help but continue to move to the music.

As she did the figure raised his hand and motioned her with his finger. She saw his lips move and as he moved his lips, so did she, both mouthing the words to the lyrics playing on the CD.

The pair moved yielding to one another not limited by the physical barriers or incredulous circumstances placed on them in that space in time.

Logic did not exist as the surreal moment overtook her and she put a name to the face standing in front of her. The strangeness of the moment, suddenly did not deter her as she realised who it was. 

Without taking her eyes off him, she opened the car door and walked his way. As she got closer track 18 played on. She whispered his name and his aura drew her closer to him. Just as she reached for his extended hand, a truck's horn screamed out in the distance.

Startled, she pulled back. His pitch became persistent as he continued to sing and Brooke took a step backwards towards the car. As she did the truck's horn sounded again and the shadowy figure motioned again to her, this time intensely.

Suddenly, a stage and a sea of faces flashed before her and she was unable to move. It was as if her feet were glued to the stage's surface. Brooke lurched towards the opened car door and got in. She slammed her foot on the accelerator and turned on the ignition as the roar of the truck descended on her senses.

She shut her eyes and opened them wide as she drove at the figure and as she did, it swiftly moved away and back amongst the trees.

She looked in her rear vision again and could not see anything except for the truck getting more distant as she sped away from the row of eucalyptus trees.

Track 18 flowed again from the car's speakers and this time she pondered on the melody. Had she just encountered something so fantastic that if she told people, they'd  comment, 'had she been on the green stuff'.

She sighed and shook her head as if to empty her thoughts as the song's chorus resounded in her ears.

There was nothing else to do except to continue on with the journey, traversing the inky landscape of surprise and intrigue and all that is for her and others in the universal realm of living - a fantastic ride, a fantasy ride, a ride regardless, pedestrian or otherwise, your Life your journey and all that encompasses for us all a ride, truly a ride, a ride also known as writing the rapids.


  1. Hello again, Allie-Millie! This was an enjoyable fantasy. Perhaps it is a true story about a woman's fantasy, maybe your own. The story reminds us that music has the power to bend and shape reality.

    To alleviate boredom on a long drive to the beach, Brooke chose to listen to a favorite CD. Along the way the music became the soundtrack of the journey, orchestrating experiences real and imagined. By the time track 18 came on, Brooke was feeling empowered. There was a stirring inside her and she was compelled to move to the music. The song fired an anchor, triggering a euphoric memory of a specific high point in her dance career. As the song reached a crescendo Brooke entered an altered state of consciousness and experienced an erotic fantasy of some sort which nearly caused her to have an accident. The truck horn was the cold water that woke her up and refocused her attention on her driving.

    I can relate to this story. One spring weekend in 1983 I made the long drive to Philadelphia to take "est" - the Erhard Seminars Training. Alone in the car, I played the radio loudly and became anchored to two specific songs that day, songs that somehow spoke to my hunger for that seminar experience and a new direction for my troubled life. The songs were "Little Red Corvette" by Prince and "Let's Dance" by David Bowie.

    Track 18 in your story reminds me of the song "Flashdance... What a Feeling," the powerful theme from the 1983 movie Flashdance. Every time I hear that song I feel inspired. "Flashdance," the song and the motion picture, invites me to believe that anything is possible. Other dance themed movies that I have enjoyed over the years and that I recommend to you are Dirty Dancing, All That Jazz and the 2000 movie Center Stage which I am eager to see again soon.

    Thank you for another great post, dear friend Allie-Millie. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and the week ahead!

  2. Hi Shady Del,

    Thanks for sharing your insights. I haven't heard about the last movie you mentioned so I will have a look for it. Yes, dance is a great form of self-expression and I have seen the passion and celebration dancers have for their art and how there are no boundaries between work and play, because dance is play and work is a secondary activity and it all looks so much fun and easy! Have a great week and stay tuned