Sunday, 27 May 2012

Day 22 - a vindication of visualisation, and the solace of Shakespeare in the sun

I've said on this blog before that when I'm at uni, because I'm not walking every day, I often wonder if I can keep up the momentum of this mission. Yesterday, it turned out, was to show me how wrong I was to think in this way; and it constituted a breakthrough. (I deliberately didn't mention it in my 'day 21' post - that was mammoth enough, and I felt this deserved a post of its own.)

Lizzie and I went to see 'WUDS in the Woods' - an open-air performance of As You Like It. I love Shakespeare. You can't beat the bard in my books - especially if, when it's a traditionally-styled production, you serve him well. They did: live accompanying folk musicians, singing and dancing. Dancing. I must admit that this is the one aspect which usually gets to me, however much I love it, because it reminds me that I can't do it myself. Not so yesterday - my feet tapped in time to the music - and it was utterly magical. Whilst it of course had something to do with my newfound, re-motivated state of mind, I think it is more of a testiment to the brilliance of the production - and particularly Kate Thorogood's awesome take on the role of Rosalind.

I don't know much of Kate, but what I do know, I like. After all, what's not to love about a girl who's obviously, from our few meetings, a genuinely nice person, is an accomplished actress, a superb singer (and a fellow low-register dweller, she being an alto who occasionally dabbles in mezzo roles)? I'd certainly like to get better acquainted with her - maybe we can gush over Handel and Ferrier as well as Shakespeare.

Anyway, Rosalind and the dancing. I adore Rosalind, just as I adore Viola. I love Desdemona and Lady Macbeth and Juliet and Ophelia, too, just not as much as the other two. Maybe it's because they're girls who don't quite fit, roles that are in limbo between two places; and I identify with that. For most of my life I've tried to work out where my place is, whether I'm anything more than a bridge between my two worlds - that of the able and the disabled - feeling overwhelmingly that I'm an able-bodied girl who just happens to sit in a chair.

Yet there was a crucial difference between the plights of banished Rosalind and shipwrecked Viola, and my own situation - or so I thought. They could dance, and I could not, so I never fully invested myself in their characters, as a kind of self-preservation. Yesterday, though, that changed. Watching the performance, I never once felt conscious of my chair and all its implications. That's the first time ever that that's happened in my waking hours (I always walk in my dreams) so it was a really big deal. Then, when they were dancing at the wedding, I didn't hear my inner wistful voice; instead I found myself thinking 'Yes - I could do that.' I can add dancing as Rosalind to my list of visualisations, along with leaping over styles as Lizzy Bennet and climbing trees as Jo March.

So thanks, Thorogood, and congrats. You were thoroughly good ;)!    

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