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Dreamed 1987/10/14 by Chris Wayan

I'm chasing a young man on foot. His nickname's Will--short for Willful Conformity.

Will ducks into a dance school, and I follow, bursting in on class after class:

In Room 1, we thread through couples dancing and doing psychodrama. We only knock down a few!

In Room 2, we leap over the contact improv students studying how to lean on each other...

In Room 3, a surprise: only two students, one costumed as a sea-serpent's disembodied tail, the other as the head. Together, they play one character: the Loch Ness Monster! They scuttle around the floor, trying to create the impression of a whole water-dragon under the floor by their positions. But the tail-dancer keeps chasing the head too literally, not sinuously enough to imply an unseen serpentine giant. She catches up to the head-dancer, and the teacher growls "No, no, a Serpent, not an Accordion!"

Two dancers play the Loch Ness Monster: one wears a dragon-head, the other a dragon-tail; the rest is implied, under the floor. Dream sketch by Wayan; click to enlarge.
Will and I crassly run between Head and Tail--right through poor old Virtual Ness. I wish I could report I felt a thing.

In Room 4, students skate... without skates! They run and glide fluidly along the floor... one girl even tries a backward curve to build up speed, as in true skating. I slide through that classroom as if on ice...

As we blundered on through each class, I realize I unconsciously mimicked the dancers, and acquired some of their style. Talk about conformity! I've been mad at Will for conforming so willfully, but really, am I any less of a chameleon? I pick up psychodrama, coupling, improv, being a cold-blooded monster, skating on the thinnest ice of all--imaginary ice.

Room 5 is huge, and nearly empty. Quite empty. Uh-oh. Will is gone! Where's he hidden? Did he melt into some class on the way? No, I clearly saw him run in... What kind of dance class is this, anyway? Empty and still... nowhere to hide.

Zen dance!

I feel lost. Have I met with a dance I lack the Will to conform to?

The dance of no dance at all.


The Loch Ness Monster under the floor, implied by multiple dancers = the unconscious mind (as we deduce it) sketched in fragmentarily by our dreams!

Do we have an unconscious? Or do we have fragmented consciousnesses, dancers in costumes, trying hard to cooperate (though not always perfectly) to create the impression of "underwater" segments... the impression of a vast Jungian unity that in fact does not exist?

Is the unconscious a good acting job, an artistic creation?

Is the final lesson, the dance in the fifth room, simply... emptiness?

LISTS AND LINKS: individualism and conformity - dance - schools - dream houses - dragons and sea serpents - another dragon act: In a Mermaid's Dressing Room - Buddhism - dreams about dreaming

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