After dedicating my entire life to dance, it has become more than something I do. It has become my identity, my reflection of my experience of the human condition, and my feelings for it are ineffable.
Dance is one of the most romantic forms of the arts, where combined with music, there is a certain bodily reaction, a form of expression, of which language fails. I always felt it ironic, that through my years at Columbia, that now a senior, I have spent the past years of my life dedicated to studying the English language, whereas my true expression has always been through the form of dance. Listening and moving to music makes me aware of a side of the human experience that is beyond language. I can recognize it, because I feel it within me through my experience, even though it is linguistically unattainable and indescribable. Dance, my reaction through music, therefore is my initiation of the idea of the infinite: not the reduction of an idea as a concept, but rather as an experience. What we can say and what we can think of, rationally and linguistically, is the component of language, but this idea of the infinite is romanticized through the notion that the fundamental emotion of humans is longing.
This link between the infinite, experience, and longing creates a sort of existentialism: the moment you become aware of an experience it leads you to a place where you will never be able to reach again, a sort of state or being or sentiment that is unattainable. You try to grasp at something and try to achieve a way of understanding that is never there. Dance, a combination of the musical arts, the visual arts, the exploration of the human spirit, the human condition, is a sort of psychological mimicry of experiencing life. There is something about experiencing life that is so overwhelming and multifaceted to the artist that together it can only be reflected through combining the elements of the physical, musical, and the visual in dance.
About the Author: Kasey Broekema
Kasey Broekema, born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a Columbia College senior majoring in English. You can often find her scheming up story plots in coffee shops, goggling in awe at her favorite dancers at Lincoln Center, and geeking out over Ancient Egyptian art at The Met Museum.