Dancers from the Dance
"The Book of People"
At midnight, the People crowded the shore. There was a palpable air of excitement, anticipation and anxiety.
The thousands upon thousands of men and women looked out anxiously at
the Atlantic - a barren, cold, dark sea. They held each other's hands
and they prayed to God.
The first thing they heard was the Music.
It came from the heavens, faintly at first, hardy discernible,
no more than the promise in a New One's eyes.
A low pulse. A rumble far
off in the sky like the coming of life-giving spring rain.
The People screamed their joy to the heavens and began the Dance.
They danced the ritual Dance, handed down from generation to
generation. Some of the movements of the Dance came from the past, as
far back as the dawn of mankind. The Dance incorporated the ritual
movements of all the People of all time. Each person absorbed the
Dance, created it, renewed it, and gave to it of his own body and soul.
The Dance was primitive and sophisticated, inward and outward,
exhibitionistic and personal, sensual and spiritual.
Together the dancers chanted the ritual chant. The whoop,
whoop, whoop and 'riba, 'rriba! 'rrriba! - the ritual sounds that were
required of them.
For they knew that the Music was not complete without them.
Unless they participated in it, it would be unfulfilled. The Music
could not exist on its own. It was the prayer that bound them to God.
It was both the prayer and the answer to that prayer.
Some of the Dancers were chosen by God for special ritual tasks.
The Fancy Dancers dressed in ritual costume and carried large
fans of feather, gossamer, and silk worked with gold and silver
threads. Their ceremonial finery shone in bright hues of red, yellow,
green and blue beneath the light of the stars and the moon. They
employed the traditional fans to catch the Music and send it floating
back onto the thousands of dancers. They acted as shamans, providing a
spiritual reverberation to the ritual.
The Dancers from the Dance were naked. Upon their bodies, the
symbols of the People were painted in bright colors: the ringed symbols
of man and man, woman and woman, dazzling triangles in rainbows of
color. Their bodies worshiped pinks and lavenders, the many hues of
blue and the range of magic held in green. Their bodies were an
emblematic paean to the history of the People - to their young and
their old, those living and those who had lived before them.
They played the ceremonial instruments. Their tambourines,
finger cymbals, maracas and percussion bars echoed and underscored the
message of the music.
The Fancy Dancers and the Dancers from the Dance were the living depository of The Dance.
Dictated by custom, the Fancy Dancers and the Dancers from the
Dance encircled the People, and by example, taught them the mystic
movements of the Dance. The Dance incorporated so many movements that
one person, even a Fancy Dancer or a Dancer from the Dance, could not
ever hope to know them all. Each of the Fancy Dancers and the Dancers
from the Dance encompassed a range of the ritual body movements. They
attained a state of ritual trance in which they communicated with God.
Their movements were mysteriously transmitted to the dancers.
In the Dance, the dancers recreated the history of the People throughout time.
All night long, the dancers danced. And as they danced, the
heavenly Music grew louder and louder and filled the entire world with
its sweet sound. The Music obliterated all other sounds and entered the
souls of the dancers.
As dawn approached, the thousands were drenched in sweat, their
bodies were tired, but they could not stop. They were compelled to
Their minds cleared of worldly concerns from the demands of the
Dance, their soul now open to God, they formed a communion with God and
with each other. They were united. They were one being. They were One
People. They danced happiness and pain, they danced life, and they
God accepted their Communion.
The dancers, all naked now, except for the Fancy Dancers who
were required by the ritual to keep their costumes on, danced in a
thick pre-dawn fog. The heavy moisture sizzled as it fell on their
heated bodies and turned into a magical sweatsteam. It formed the
funnel of a mystical tornado that went swirling out to sea.
"Whoop, whoop, whoop, 'riba, 'rriba, 'rrriba!" the dancers chanted.
The magical dawn fused the body and the soul. Its warm sensual rays
bathed the naked bodies of the People, suffusing them with a sensual
intensity. The bodies of the men and women transformed and became
perfect. Each man metamorphosed into his perfect ideal of himself and
his sex became erect and throbbed ecstatically. Each woman transmuted
into a perfect vision of herself and the nipples of her breasts
shivered with bliss and warm juices flowed inside her.
Hand in hand they danced, enjoying the perfect beauty of each
other, overwhelmed by the perfect Love they felt for each other. Faster
and faster, they whirled in ever-widening circles.
The sweatsteam tornado swept out into the Atlantic. The dark ocean became a pale, shimmering blue. It shimmered, goldened the heated sky, and provided God with the substance of the transubstantiation.
The cosmic action released a hot, heavy wind that swept across
the ocean to the beach. The People had to work against its strong force
in order to maintain the Dance. They could not stop, must not stop -
for they knew it was their energy, their sweat, their love, that
energized the creation.
A great sound was heard, louder than any sound ever heard on
earth, for the sound was not carried in the air but in the dancers'
The sweatsteam tornado shimmered and glittered in the magical
light. It seemed composed of millions and millions of dazzling rays of
violets, blues, yellows, reds, and greens that shot out from it.
The sweatsteam tornado descended into the shimmering water. The
cold sea boiled from the intense heat. Rushes of steamed water shot up
in high jets and sent near-tidal waves towards the shore.
From the depths of the sea, a wondrous isle appeared - afire with flames that did not burn.
After the flamestorm swept the new-born isle, it left behind it
lush green foliage and trees, and flowers, deer and multi-colored
And a beach of fine, golden sand upon which the blue ocean lapped.
The dancers were hypnotized by the newly-created island. The
Fancy Dancers and the Dancers from the Dance swirled and twirled, their
fans and instruments excitedly conveying that this Island was the Home
the People sought.
The People wished to go to the Island. They prayed to God to
take them there. They screamed and pounded the sand of the shore in
God heard their prayer.
God summoned the stars from the heavens. Each star captured a
dancer and gently lowered him onto the soft, sandy beach that
surrounded the beautiful island.
The Island was a paradise. A place where the weather was always
perfect, everyone felt beautiful forever, no one was unhappy about
aging and Love permeated the air as a heavenly perfume. The People had
found a place for their sacred celebrations - a place for the Dance,
and a place for their old, their living and those who had lived before