mardi 21 avril 2020

Dance memory

Years ago, I spent a year living in a tiny top-floor flat, with a view of treetops from the sitting room window and a very distant view of the sea from the fire escape out the back. The miniature galley kitchen in that flat reminded me of Paris. The sun came in through the window in the afternoons and the ancient cabinets were trimmed in bright egg-yolk yellow. That kitchen was so tiny, the fridge had to be kept out in the hallway at the top of the stairs.

The year in that flat coincided with my temporary obsession with Tracy Anderson. This sounds strange and felt out of character. Tracy Anderson is Gwyneth Paltrow's personal trainer and I am not at all sure that we would be friends in real life (who knows, though?!). She looks like an Olsen twin, or a small woodland creature in very tiny outfits. She says cheerful motivational things - 'Let's have fun! I'm so proud of you!' - in a very flat monotone. There is something very corporate, maybe even robotic, about her. She talks in pseudoscience and fetishises being 'tiny' and 'the dancer's body'.

For some reason, I bought all of her DVDs. In that flat, I did them diligently every single evening.

There is something about Tracy Anderson that I find incredibly relaxing. All of the movements are very repetitive, to the point of being boring. Her choreographed dances seem to have no logic to them whatsoever. Some of the movements are so insane, she reminds me of Kate Bush, even though she is the exact opposite of Kate Bush.

All of her workouts are set to bland electronic music that just fades into the background. I discovered that this could easily be muted and replaced with Sonic Youth. There is something about this combination that works perfectly.

Whenever I hear Lee Ranaldo's solo album 'Between the Times and the Tides', I am instantly transported back to that flat, doing Tracy Anderson dance moves for hours on end on the nasty brown rental-flat carpet, with a view of the trees. Incidentally, Lee Ranaldo was really the underrated member of Sonic Youth.

I've been spending a lot of my lockdown time exercising. Physical movement is currently helpful.

I find repetitive motion very comforting, so I suppose it's natural that I looked up Tracy on YouTube. It's almost like meditating, maybe because I've done it so many times now. Just add the Sonic Youth member of your choice.


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