Thursday, January 21, 2010

Walk (the Dog) Like an Egyptian

Years ago, I took a dance-movement class with a choreographer named Andrea Ariel. She tried to set us inexperienced dancer-movers at ease by telling how, when she first started learning to choreograph pieces, she imagined dancers as two dimensional, like paper cutouts. As a result, her early works featured dancers moving awkwardly, arms outstretched and angular, like figures in Egyptian wall art—like this fellow here.

I often think of that class as I walk my dogs around my neighborhood. The age difference between Muzzy (2) and Roma (14) is pretty obvious now. Muzzy pulls ahead; she's in the lead and on the prowl. Roma, however, creeps along, either because she's tired or she's bored senseless from walking the same three blocks every day for seven years. Or she simply wants to torment me. In any event, I walk the neighborhood sidewalks with my arms outstretched and my rotator cuffs extended to their limits by two leashes pulled taut by two dogs with differing agendas. I always feel faintly ridiculous. Then, to make things even worse, that old Bangles tune starts rolling around in my head. You know the one I mean. Part of it goes like this:

" . . . All the kids in the marketplace say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian.

 Slide your feet up the street; bend your back; 
Shift your arm, then you pull it back
Life is hard, you know (oh whey oh);
So strike a pose on a Cadillac

. . . Walk like an Egyptian."

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