Sunday, May 30, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 27

In the window, Erica and Samantha. I know Erica from church and related activities... Erica and Samantha work together. They seem like easy friends, the kind that grow together quickly and enjoy each other's presence and empowerment.

For dinner they ordered sandwiches from the pizza place across the street. There was a large time-gap between their expected food pickup and the actual time it was ready. During those twenty-or-so minutes I was able to talk with Samantha about the piece and her personal/artistic interests. Considering how late it is into the month, our conversation felt like a test run for re-entering the normal pace of dialog with a stranger (instead of watching them from the other side of a window, which I'm certain won't fly in other contexts).

Along with their food they brought an ipod and speaker dock. As soon as their quick meal was eaten, they folded up the table and chairs, put their things off to the side, and picked a tune. Then they proceeded to start a two-person window dance party. They continued picking songs and dancing until the end of their hour, quite a thing to watch.

This is the first night where the participants became overt and intentional performers. On one hand it felt as though they danced for themselves, not always facing out but instead laughing and focused on one another. On the other hand, they would fall into moments of outward focus... playing the roles of mimes in a box (though they actually were in a box this time) or doing the Rockettes line kick. I suppose this follows suit with many forms of dancing: simultaneously a personal expression and entertainment for others.

They had a good amount of sit-down-stay-a-while viewers to observe their dances... which created the feeling of watching gogo dancers locked in a box. It's incredibly awkward to sit still while watching two people jump and kick and laugh... all to music you can't hear. This disconnect of physical movement made me feel like they were very far away... people from a different place performing a strange ritual of that I couldn't enter. In this dinner time more than any other I felt my obligation as Viewer to their Entertainer, and distinctly encountered the divide that separated their world from my own.

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