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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 dance.

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 danced death.

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' souls.

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 birds.

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 hypnotic frenzy.

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 them.