Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Is Dancing In Her Seat

Hey, guys! Hope you all have been having a lovely week. I'd like to apologize for missing last week. I don't really have a good excuse other than the fact that school hasn't let out yet and I had a TON of work to do. Please accept this video of a guy rapping about NPR as a token of my apology:

And now (drum roll), for your regularly scheduled blog post.

There are many different ways to tell a story, and I happen to think words are one of the best mediums for storytelling. I might be a tiny bit biased, though. I got a lot of work done on my current piece of fiction last weekend, which might be because I was really excited about the writing software I'm trying out called Scrivener. It lets you do fancy stuff like group chapters and create plot outlines and research all in one program. I may have geeked out a little. As I was writing (and rewriting), I was thinking about the ways my characters tell each other stories. Many of them are word people who love language, so that is their method of communication. But I also have several characters who are very musical and tell their stories through their instruments. The diverse ways characters tell stories also applies to other mediums of art or storytelling.

One example of not quite-so-literal storytelling is dance. I'm still sounding pretty biased here, considering the fact that I'm a dancer, but I have a point. I think. In the show Riverdance, a combination of modernized Irish dance, speaking, singing, other forms of dance, music, and visual sets is used to tell the story of Irish immigration. Although the events in Ireland that increased immigration and the trials immigrants faced in America are part of one group's story, Riverdance is an international hit because everyone can relate to feeling alienated and wanting a better life. Everyone can relate to being part of a family. Because immigration from Ireland such a broad, sweeping topic, the format works perfectly in telling a story of individuals that applies to humanity. I think that is what writers and artists in general  try to do. Although their work may be singular, the best stories are the ones people can relate to on a human level.

As an Irish dancer, I can't really remember ever NOT knowing about Riverdance. Love it or hate it, anyone who has Irish danced knows about it. Tomorrow, I'm seeing the show for the first time since I was six years old. I can't even sit still as I'm writing right now.  I don't think it will have lost the magic. I will appreciate it more because I know more about dance and because stories that we connect with on multiple levels never really leave us, but sort of linger around like nargles, getting in our brains and changing the way we see things.

Because I'm a shameless Irish dance freak, I'm linking you all to to a video of the opening number of Riverdance. I hope I can convert you.