Art has been, is, and will always be political and in the most absolute way. We are often under a misconception that artists are rebels with the courage to challenge accepted truths. While I am certain there are artists like this, probably many, these are not the artists we are acquainted with. The rebel-artists we cite—take for example Lin Manuel Miranda—are not struggling with popularity. They are famous not because they have challenged the world with new ideas but because they are a voice through which a generation speaks, or, since a generation is never a monolith, more accurately, a significant portion of a generation. Perhaps it is a new and rising voice, but the popularity of the artist is a sign that the scale is tipping or has already tipped.
I grew up knowing that my Dad dreamed of flying. He didn’t have feathers or airplane wings in these dreams. He just lifted up like superman. In slow summer morning, we used to relish in our dreams. To me, the most exciting dreams included stormtroopers, lightsabers, Ewoks, and the rebel cause. As we sat with messy hair and no shirts, because we wore shorts instead of pajamas, we would bring vague recollection to dramatic conclusion in the telling of it. It was remembrance and invention at the same time.
Throughout my life, I have only dreamed of flying a few times, none of which I remember very well. But when I woke up I thought to myself, oh yes, I too have now dreamed of flying. It was something, in my mind, to be proud of. I don’t remember how I flew but when I imagine it now I have wings and there is joy simply in the performance of it. Continue reading
[Note: This post was coauthored by our sister Rachel Sabey, a professional ballroom dancer and dance instructor in New York City, shown dancing with her partner in the YouTube video. It is written in her voice. David’s dance qualifications are similarly impressive, as he is the proud recipient of an A and a bronze certification in the beginning ballroom dance class he took at BYU. Despite this auspicious early dance career, he set aside the glory and glamor of the ballroom to devote his time to the public service.]
When an engaged couple comes to me for lessons, they come onto the floor smiling at each other, holding hands. And just before we start, he leans over and kisses her on the forehead. It’s an adorable picture, one for a newspaper, until they start to dance. That’s when the fighting begins. Sooner or later (and usually sooner) nearly all engaged couples will fight while learning their first dance. Romantic images of waltzing across clouds with your new spouse quickly fade when you realize dancing isn’t as easy as it looks. As a dance instructor, I feel funny asking these adult students to stop fighting and listen to what I am saying. At times, I want to remind them that they are planning to spend the rest of their lives with this person and it’s not a good sign if they can’t even make it through a dance lesson. Of course that might be an untimely thing to say to an engaged couple, but the impulse can be hard to resist. Continue reading