On January 18th, 1997 I went to see La La La Human Steps at the National Arts Centre. La La La Human Steps was a big modern dance troupe out of Montreal (I believe) and I was hoping to really like it.
I was a few years out of university with a music degree and was back at school working on a BA in religious studies. I was gigging a lot around town and kept my eye out for any cool exhibits that might roll through the National Gallery or any number of local museums; in short I was steeped in every facet of arts and culture I could surround myself with.
But I hated dance.
I just did not get it. Bodies in tights flapping around to classical music seemed more like elitist acrobatics than art. Ballet dancers always looked to me like trained poodles performing in a circus, all shaved and puffy and twirling around on their hind legs together.
I was hoping a popular up-to-date and arty take on the genre would change my mind but it didn’t. It was the same old jumping around, just not in sync, and with some weird, barely suggested undertone of a plot or emotion that I’m sure nobody could ever truly follow. I ended up just closing my eyes and trying to save the night by concentrating on the music.
This wouldn’t be my last ballet show and with very, very few exceptions I have always maintained the same attitude towards dance (unfortunately), but at least I gave it a shot.