the lost man chronicles
81. the kinesiology of music, part 2

more than a decade ago when i first came to this great City of Dreams, in pursuit of my own, i ventured out with some fellow graduate students to a free concert at South Street Seaport. the performance featured a well known Zydeco band. if you are familiar with music of the bayou you should be well aware that it is rhythmic and prone to make you want to dance. at least, it certainly does and did for me at the time.

yet, when we arrived at the outdoor venue at the base of the pier, almost all of those in attendance were seated on the pavement and inclined otherwise. the audience primarily consisted of a somber pale, pall almost, of people who acknowledged the music with an occasional, almost imperceptible sway of their heads, and an occasional subtle tap of a finger upon a knee.

the apathy drove me crazy, for quite honestly, i was a bit rankled by the irreverence.

my colleagues wanted to indulge and pay our dues by dancing, but there was no room. the few hundred square feet before the stage was apparently occupied with those who had cement shoes. the scene of cadavers strewn about was quite solemn, and so we decided to leave.

a block away or so, past the mark where the performance had become little but static, there was a group of eight or so colorful souls making music out of nothing but their own company. amidst this happy horde, was a couple dancing salsa while their friends clapped and yipped and shouted encouraging calls of organic glee. there was literally no other musical accompaniment, and it was then that i saw the poignant difference which i had intuited for so long.

and although there is no right, there is no wrong, it is still sad to see how assimilation strips away the beauty of other cultures as they are brought into the fold of this country.

"What is Dancing, but making love set to music playing..."
~ Come Dance with Me, S. Cahn, J. Van Heusen

the kinesiology of music, 1 .80 previous chronicle the beginning next chronicle 82. the kinesiology of music, 3

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