Music and Dance as a Transfer of Life

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 6:15am
Music and Dance as a Transfer of Life

A mesmerizing collaboration between Memphis-born street dancer Lil Buck and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A moment of transcendence that stops you in your tracks and begs to be noticed.

Post by:
Mariah Helgeson (@mariahism),  associate producer for On Being
Shortened URL
6 ReflectionsRead/Add Yours

Every once in a while, a piece of music comes along that stops you in your tracks. On its own, Camille Saint-Saëns' lyrical meditation "Le Cygne" (The Swan) is a beautiful piece of music. But there's something so powerful about seeing it performed like this. The dancer, Lil Buck, seems to float across the stage, effortlessly embodying that mournful grace of the swan. Here, I think of Yo-Yo Ma's own words from our forthcoming show:

"Beauty is often an encapsulisation of a lot of different things in a certain moment — a frame, let's say. It could be music. It could be a poem. It could be an event. It could be in nature, and often, possibly, most often in nature. But when that encapsulated form is received, there's a moment of reception and cognition of the thing that is, some ways, startling.

And the moment you solve an equation — something is revealed, either in your own head or physically, materially revealed. There's that moment where something is being transferred. There's that moment which, essentially, there's a transfer of life."

Shortened URL

Mariah Helgeson is an associate producer at On Being. She earned a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University. She grew up in Minnesota and was a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music.

Add Your Reflection

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><span><div><img><!-->
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Embed content by wrapping a supported URL in [embed] … [/embed].

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
6Reflections

The human body is so communicative. What a beautiul moment at the end when he folds his body back into its seed-like beginning.

So very moving and beautiful. I wish the photographers had pulled back so we could see Lil Buck's whole body expressions throughout the piece, but I was still very, very moved.

transforming!

Thank you. What a gift!

Such deep beauty is impossible to wrap words around.
I offer thanks and appreciation for this glimpse into unifying transcendence.

Whoa. This is truly breathtaking! Thank you for sharing the beauty.

Top Blog Posts

With the dulcet tones of the Copenhagen Phil, commuters find a moment of unexpected musical joy in this flash mob scene. You will too.
At our darkest hours, when light fails to find a home, a path of buttercups may lead us back. Parker Palmer offers up thoughts and a Willow Harth poem for many of us caught "underground."
A confluence of sources show kindred minds meet for the first time. How Thoreau's quote went viral. Millennials don't do and sage advice from Maya Angelou.
A worthy week filled with viral videos that will make you rethink your use of language and make you smile, and posts about a writer's prayer journal and a poem from Rumi that will inspire you.
What if it turns out that faith is truly existential, not a leap of faith but a reality already there for us to notice and accept? A meditation and a poem on the suffering of Job.
apples