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Looking Back

Music And The Dance

Music of the kind Chopin composed is an expression of the soul. It coufounds me no end, that humanity, rising with the same genes and brain as the hunter gathers of 10,000 years ago can create, build, write and then execute with such stunning skill: perfection to he last millisecond of each note. As I do with the visual arts have learned the language of both art forms, I am astonished that they are not a part of daily life. But it takes exposure when young to learn the language of the image and of the music.

Poland, where my four grandparents were born did not exist for 123 years, carved up by its neighbors. Chopin was born in Poland and studied music there, but exiled to Paris by the Russians.

Kristian Zimerman was a Pole also who won the Chopin International competition at the age of 25. I probed the internet for someone to teach me more about Copin’s music and when I heard Zimerman I cried. This performance of the Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 has received over 8 million views on U-Tube. Listen and watch. I have listened many times, but here I must listen again.

Joy, beauty should be part if everyones life, and I have had more than my share. Music and dance was part of my life and my familily’s life in Poland and they made it part of mine.

I saw the Marzofza Song and Dance Ensemble as a child in Boston. I danced with my sister in church harvest festivals. Every melody brings back a memory, but there is one special one in the middle of this performace and I jumped for joy when I heard it and I ran to the piano and played it for it was the Krakovik and part of a medily my father taught me and we used to play, I on the piano he and on the violin, over and over for our guests.

But for me there is a joy to this performannce that thrills me for it comes from a country that did not exist when my grand parents emigrated. A country that was bombed into rubble and rebult brick by brick. I grew up with the music and the danceand now some 70 years later I hear and see it better than I have ever seeb it before: joyous, beautiful and exuberant from a country that did not exist for over 100 years.

Below is a dance from a country once left for dead, and it is exurbance that I feel, perhaps amazingly as I feel it from the milkweed. From death comes life. Beauty, joyous and exuberant.



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