Charger

Charger: (n) Archaic a large, flat dish; platter

Long, long ago, when an epidemic of the simple common cold could kill people off by the thousands, a flat serving tray was referred to as a “charger.”

It has very little significance to us, as we now view a small cord which attaches to our phone as the only charger of note.

But long ago, when a young girl breathlessly finished a dance, nearly naked from her exuberant efforts, her step-father, a king, greatly
aroused by her choreography, promised to give her anything she wanted as payment for her little strip-tease.

He was obviously staring down at a beautiful temptation, and also at the evidence that she had succeeded in waking up the “little king.”

She was a nasty little vixen, with a mother who had been trained to be ruthless and cruel. So the two of them got together, and the girl requested the head of John the Baptist–“on a charger.”

(This is origin of the slogan, “I want his head on a silver platter.” I assume that the request for the platter was to express extreme indifference.)

But it is a warning.

For the Prophet John made the mistake of generating enemies of souls with no conscience.

And the young girl, who had been raised by a bedeviled mother to use the lust of men to her advantage, was able to take the Baptist’s indiscretion in judging a queen, and the queen’s fury over his insolence, and turn it into a tragedy.

It teaches us all that we should choose our words carefully — and avoid making enemies of people who really wouldn’t mind putting our fate on a plate.

 

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Ballroom

Ballroom: (n) a large room used for dancing.Dictionary B

Every writer, whether aspiring or accomplished, has to make a personal, singular decision:

Am I going to write my articles and thoughts down as they relate to the subject or as they relate to me?

It’s a huge decision.

Well, not huge in the sense of attempting to get funding to cure cancer, but huge as defined as acquiring purpose and having relevance.

I suppose some folks would be interested in an article written on the subject of ballrooms or ballroom dancing which would enlighten them on history by discussing the international traditions.

That’s not what I do.

I am not a reporter; I am a sharer.

So when I think about ballrooms, or ballroom dancing, I relate it to my limited experience with “hoofing.”

I haven’t done a lot of dancing in my life. Considering my size and girth, I’m really quite agile, but have never had the doors of opportunity flung open for me to tap dance my way into people’s hearts.

But I do remember what it was like to be seventeen years old and going to a prom, knowing that I would be holding a woman very close to me, and have to perform some reasonable imitation of flow. Coming from a small town, it was thrilling to arrive at one of the big-city hotels, which had a ballroom with hanging chandeliers.

The lights were dimmed, the 5-piece combo began to play, and it was time to sway.

I was swept away.

Suddenly I felt like every young boy from every generation, who found himself enraptured in the aura of romance and the itch to coagulate and dance.

I wasn’t very good, but I took some risks, we had some good laughs, and for a brief moment, the young lady and I were transcendent in time, wisked away on magical shoes.

I will never forget it.

I never had a desire to duplicate it. I didn’t go to Arthur Murray and try to perfect my steps.

But in that suspended moment, I understood why they made ballrooms, and why they filled them … with dance.

 

 

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Ballerina

Ballerina: (n) a female ballet dancer.Dictionary B

It is amazing to me, the things that pop to my mind when I hear the daily word that comes up through the luck of the draw of the dictionary–and suddenly an image is literally dancing across my consciousness, and no matter how hard I try to consider some other interpretation, it remains predominant.

I remember a very obscure song I knew as a young boy, which referred to a ballerina. (I could probably look up who did the song on the Internet, but I would lose the spontaneity by trying to impress you with my knowledge instead of impacting you with my experience.)

I think the song had a harpsichord in it and sounded a little old-fashioned, but it was a rock song that began with the haunting musical phrase, “I had a date with a pretty ballerina.”

And then, something about “her hair of gold was so bright it hurt my eyes.”

But what really struck me about the song was the lyric, “Was I surprised? No. Was I surprised? No, not at all.”

It was sung really high–in a falsetto.

As a kid, I loved that song, though I wouldn’t admit it to my friends, who thought it was really sissy.

The singer was one of those cast-offs from the British Invasion, who sounded very English, and therefore, to my Midwest ears, like he possibly was homosexual. (It was a different time…)

But this didn’t prevent me from having great emotion and affection for the song. It awakened me–that music, by itself, has a particular anointing, whether you understand the lyrics or comprehend the message or not.

So when I think of a ballerina, that song comes to my mind, and even though I don’t know who sang it or what the hell it was all about, it still conjures images of a dainty lady graced with great ability, pirouetting into my mundane life.

 

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Ballad

Ballad: (n) a slow sentimental or romantic song.Dictionary B

There are only two reasons for music.

I guess I should present that better.

After many years of playing, writing and performing music, I have found that it offers two functions better than almost anything else: it makes people dance and it makes people feel.

Honestly, music that doesn’t elicit either of those reactions tends to be either manipulated or industrial.

That’s why I like ballads.

Even though I find the dictionary definition above to be a bit passive-aggressive by referring to this style of music as slow, sentimental and romantic, I feel that slowing things down, having enough sentiment to produce emotion and on occasion to be romantic, to be confirmation of a more enlightened human life.

I favor ballads so much that someone once commented, “You can’t do a whole concert of ballads.”

I am so amused by anyone who thinks they can manipulate things of beauty to do exactly what they want them to do to fit into the box provided. You can do anything with music you want as long as it makes people dance or it makes people feel.

And every once in a while… there is a time to dance and on other occasions, a time to feel.

 

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Ailey, Alvin

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ailey, Alvin: (1931-89) U.S. dancer and  choreographer. He founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 1958 and helped to establish modern dance as an American art form, incorporating ballet, jazz and Afro-Caribbean idioms in his choreography.

Being a writer carries with it a certain amount of arrogance. There is the contention that one has something worthy to be said, and therefore read, and also the annoying predilection to associate everything you hear and see into your own spectrum of thinking.

Yes, it’s truly overbearing.

And when I came across this fine gentleman who was so progressive in the art of dance, because I lacked a lot of personal experience with his work, and fearing that merely taking a journey through Wikipedia to impress you with minor details would be presumptuous, if not comical, I decided to sit down and ask myself what I thought of dance. Realizing that this may be completely irrelevant to you, it is my connection with this journeyman’s craft.

As a lad I didn’t dance at all because my church believed that it was the devil’s two-step. One of the deacons in my congregation insisted that it led to lust. When I explained that at fifteen years of age, merely saying a girl’s name aloud could produce great fantasies and tremblings, he didn’t think I was funny.

So it was after I left home and began working in the music field, and decided to compose a Broadway show that, I began to think about choreography, movement and dance. Matter of fact, for my first production I hired a bunch of freelance musicians and singers to perform–all with an amateur status. Failing to realize that just because someone can sing a tune does not mean their feet will coordinate with each other, on our opening night, one critic deemed our staging and dancing to be “collisionography.”

Later on, I tried choreographing myself. Even though I am built more like a water buffalo than a graceful deer, I pranced around stage, learning my steps, acting as fluid as I possibly could, trying to discover my “center,” which ended up being very large because of my midriff.

But I enjoyed every minute of it.

I was thrilled with the audacity of daring to erupt in front of other people, while projecting emotion and ideas through the gyrations.

So when I look at the work of a man like Alvin Ailey, I realize that even though some folks think such shenanigans are evil, despicable or lascivious, life without movement–often purposeful–is bland and motionless.

Matter of fact, there are times when I have jobs to do and I choreograph every single endeavor to produce desirable results.

We come into this world, squeezing through a tiny opening, landing on our butts, learning to walk, so that hopefully … someday we can dance.