Knowing How it Feels

Yesterday at the Whitaker Center, waiting to see "Cinderella's Ball", I noticed the art exhibit in the lobby area had the curious title: "Art as Emotion". Too obvious? What else can it be? Art as Intelligence, no doubt. Of course, this title presupposes, for me anyway, that by "art" we are referring not to the art object itself, but to the various relationships established between creator, creation, and whoever has a sensorial experience of some sort with the art object: seeing it, hearing it, touching it, etc. That's where the emotion comes in. One of the first works in the exhibition is a photo of a man taking a snapshot of three people standing just a few feet away. A very frequent, almost universally experienced scene: a nearly spontaneous family portrait. The people being photographed are clearly happy, you can just see in their expressions that being together is a good thing, an important time. And the photograph immediately transmitted to me a particular emotion: I could easily identify with the situation and I smiled, happily, grateful for the shared knowledge. Oh yes, I know exactly how that feels.

I don't know exactly what it could feel like to be a ballerina, but believe I possess sufficient imagination to take an educated guess. When a performance is going well, and the audience is clearly enjoying it, it must feel really good. You feel happiness, joy, excitment... It's all in the dance. In any case, we sure did get some powerful emotions during the performances, and one of them, pride, would not typically be present when experiencing art, but our particular circumstances in this case made that emotion inevitable. Daniela gave an inspired performance as Cinderella. I am often at a loss for words when trying to respond to some of the post performance comments. "Thank you"? Well, we'll just keep trying. Looking forward very much to today's final performance.

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