Monday, May 04, 2009

David Bowie-- The Perfect Symbol of My Dictatorial Self

Jareth: I ask so little. Just let me rule you, and you can have everything that you want.-- From Labyrinth

Would Love to Dream of David Bowie in a Different Light

Dreams are supposed to reflect our daily events or state of psyche or even provide a type of premonition. Under normal circumstance I would be thoroughly jazzed to dream of David Bowie, yet dreaming of David Bowie as Jareth in my ballet class quickly turned my dream into a nightmare potent enough to wake me up at midnight and leave me unable to sleep.

So here's the dream:
I am standing at the ballet barre waiting to do the most basic across-the-floor combination-- tombe, pas de bouree, glissade, sou de chat (sounds fancy in french). Yes, the level of technique and performance quality make some dancers make look way better than others, but when I reached the front of the line it was like I totally forgot the entire thing. On the right side of me was my teacher Jessica Cooper and to the left of me was David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King. I froze and suddenly I heard Jessica say, "Go on." I danced the first three steps, which normally take me half way across the studio. However, I go nowhere this time. I am still three inches from David Bowie dancing these steps in place. So I'm determined that I'm going to sou de chat past David Bowie (this is like a big leap), and as I do David Bowie swings the black staff in his hand and I fall on my face.
Then I wake up.

The Analysis
[first lines]
Sarah: Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great...
[thunder rumbles]
Sarah: For my will is as strong as yours, my kingdom as great... Damn. I can never remember that line.
[Sarah looks up the line from the Labyrinth book]
Sarah: You have no power over me.
-- From Labyrinth

Those who know me best, know that I've seen Labyrinth about 250 times (no joke). Therefore Jareth and Sarah's characters are pretty solidified in my psyche. Yet, I can only assume some great change in life has brought them to the forefront of my dreams in a situation that I've associated with my perfectionism--the dance studio. After some thought, I've determined that Jareth's cruelty in this situation is no different than the cruelty I exhibit silently to myself as I wait in line at the ballet barre. To be tripped by a character as imposing as Jareth, though David Bowie as himself is just as imposing really, symbolizes something I feared most. I am not against anyone. I am only against myself.

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Hoggle: You have to understand my position. I'm a coward. And Jareth scares me.
Sarah: What kind of a position is that?
Hoggle: No position! That's my point. -- From Labyrinth

When familiar trauma strikes they say to look for the trigger. Given that I was in my home alone for the most part, working on the Community Writers' Anthology book cover and Dance Theatre Fairbanks's website. I can't imagine what triggered a cruel symbol of myself to appear. However, I've narrowed it down to two possibilities:

  1. I rehearsed Ice, Ice Baby choreography. This piece has some pretty stressful and unpleasant memories associated with it and they definitely surfaced when I couldn't remember choreography I nailed two days before.
  2. I performed my first singing solo. Though I did have to fudge through a few words and even a few notes, it went really well. I'm wondering if the success brought out the cruel side of me to try to take me down.

Maybe once I can turn to my Jareth-based psyche and say, as Sarah said to Jareth in the movie, You have no power over me; maybe then I can finally end the struggle with my dictatorial perfectionist self.

Write more later...Peace...RK


Jessica Ruth Cooper said...

I like. Very insightful.

Jennifer - write on said...

Your need to create is powerful and authentic. That you always see room for a more honest rendition, a more elegant solution, a cleaner execution of whichever art you are engaging in hasn’t been from my perspective a flaw.

You are insightful enough to not apply this standard to others. You recognize (if not always in the moment) that this standard when applied to you can be self destructive. This is what is called in Judaism the yetser hara. An inclination towards the bad impulse within us.

There is a Talmudic legend about an attempt to kill the wild yetser hara. It is captured and locked up for three days. But during that time, not a single new egg hatched anywhere in the land. It became clear that the yetser hara was the source of procreation — without it, there could be no creative life force, no passion.

Its hard to wrestle with y-h, but can you really imagine a life without it? Instead you surround yourself with people who help keep your balance and you shift your own focus from venue to venue, I have thought so as not to become captured yourself.

Be gentle with yourself – you are far less the cruel goblin king.

Be more honest with yourself - you are far more the passionately creative (and therefore powerful) Sarah.