Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Let the body sing and dance!

There are 234 youtube videos on Renaldo Lapuz. I'm waiting for the cultural critics to plug in with their analysis. If you ask me for mine, I can only tell you my gut responses:
"Oh my gosh, this guy is Filipino!"
"He could even be Kapampangan!"
and then this...
"I wish I had his chutzpah!"

This latter wish has always hovered on the sidelines. It took a central turn the other day when Venus and Francis came to visit. Francis has danced with Pi in the Philippines and she's now in the US to take classes on wholistic development and more dance classes. Naturally, we talked about what this "the dancer within" phenomenon has done for her: it released my poetry. released my body, my sensuality. released my fears. changed the way i think about my life's purpose and meaning. Venus and I smiled knowingly and egged each other about doing this dance someday.

Jaime Licauco and Gilda Cordero write about urban babaylans Pi and Bong de la Torre. My friend, Karen, has danced with Pi and Bong along with other Fil Ams who are in the Philippines temporarily doing Fulbright, NGO work, Tagalog on Site, etc.

My visits with young women like Venus, Francis, and Karen are my link to this world. I've written about it here as Eros, as decolonization, as energy, as psychic irruptions. It is the body talking. Wanting to dance. Wanting release and healing from colonial, sexual, psychic traumas of a repressed History.
Perhaps it is ok for the folks to laugh mockingly at Renaldo Lapuz or to make fodder of him for all kinds of drama. But he may have the last laugh. We may have the last laugh. Or the last dance.

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