Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dance of the Dragonfly

I've never considered myself a man of the theatre. The closest I've come to Broadway is an 8th grade field trip to Toronto to hear a deep voiced man bell out "Old Man River." While I'm open to experiencing new things, theatre, dance, and operas just aren't my bag. It's fine to pretend to be someone you're not, but don't do it right in front of me. I'd rather watch it on the small screen or in a Cineplex when it’s masked in exotic scenery and special effects. And personally non-intoxicated rhythmic footsteps just aggravates me while public singing makes me nervous.
But this past summer I had front row seats to an impromptu performance: The Dance of the Dragonfly. Since high school students in Japan have their own class, teachers are regulated to an office. In this case, a long open air room filled with 30 plus desks. Mostly everyone was instructing, in a useless meeting or outside smoking. All that remained were four middle aged male instructors, the suited-up handsome foreigner (me), and...a dragonfly.
In Japan, you can exchange contact information through infrared and even order food in a vending machine but apparently they're still working on air conditioning. So with the windows open, a creature from the natural world decided to enter our plastic existence. To be frank, I hadn't noticed the insectual (it's a word now). But what I did see was four grown men rising from behind their desks. They were amazed to see such a vibrant yet disgustingly large and loud winged creature in the office. I'm assuming they had previously signed up for the Office Animal Removal Task Force. These boys wanted nothing more than to humanely send the dragonfly back out to its world. Though, I had to question as well as give their efforts a standing ovation. They didn't have a stick, spray bottle, swatter, or even a net. They had moves. Sleek and stylish ballerina-esque moves. They spun in the air, twisting and turning, their hands reaching to the clouds above. Their spectacles fell off their nose and slid down their bland ties. With each motion they "ohhhh" and "awwwed" each other. And lo and behold, it worked. Somehow that dragonfly was coaxed into flying out. Maybe he loathed dancing as much as I do. But for an improvised performance, the four gentlemen were in-sync and quite honestly...magical.
Now I wonder if I'll witness the Dance of the Dragonfly again. By the way, if anyone knows of an online dragonfly dealer, please let me know.

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