TAKING MY DAUGHTER TO SEE DANCE 2.0
I’m taking my daughter to see dance again. And we totally got on the wrong boat! We are sitting on the top deck of the Hudson River ferry gleefully holding our faces to the wind when I realize that, um, we just didn’t stop at World Financial Center. Around the lower tip of Manhattan we motor in the waning light to the Wall Street stop, which is practically on the East River side; which I didn’t even know existed; which is nowhere near a subway that will take us to Gibney.
Hoards of hollow-eyed Young Professionals stream onto the ferry and, at this point, I’m ready to give up, ride the boat home, and call it a night. Which is to say that my determination to keep this family cultured is about to be outweighed by sunset ennui on a school night. When suddenly, a boat lackey calls out, “I called the captain in the next slip. He’s stopping at WFC. You can board his boat and make your show on time!”
Like I said, I was ready to give in. So I put it to the kid to decide. “Olivia, do you still want to try to see the dance show? Or would you rather just go home and call it a river adventure?”
“I want to see the dance show. And mom, stop calling everything an adventure. Sassy.
So we go. And the dance is very good! It’s Amy Miller’s new piece performed by the lithe and spunky dancers of Gina Gibney’s company. Olivia sits on my lap, and she is getting too tall for this. Her wind-frizzed hair is making my nose itchy. But I am pleased to spend 30 minutes in the presence of complex and well-executed dance in the company of my daughter. When the dance ends and I join in the loud and appreciative applause, Olivia grabs my hands and tries to physically prohibit me from clapping because it is “too loud” (spoken in whiny voice). I find this extremely annoying.
Also, it is already past her bedtime on a school night, so I make the executive decision to bail on the second half. We are required, however, to have a floor picnic of snacks since there has been no proper dinner. And we discuss.
“Mommy, I want to stay for the second half.”
“Really? Did you like the dance that much?”
“No. I don’t like dancing. I only like the ones you are in.”
Oh wow. I think she wanted to see the dance show because she knew I wanted to see the dance show. This is perhaps the least ego-centric behavior in this demanding five-year-old girl’s life.
But, as I bask in the glow of this realization, the dancers begin preparing for their entrance for the second half. Right next to us. Because it’s a studio-theater and this is backstage. Oops. And of course, I know all of the dancers from either direct contact or class around town. And OkOkOkOk I’m clearly not seeing the second half of your show but I really liked the first dance and you all performed brilliantly and it’s just because my kid is 5 and it’s after bedtime on a school night and there was the boat and oh sorry Brandon you should be preparing for your entrance without my adventure story intruding in your brain space…
And Olvia blurts out, “Hey dancers! I have a loose tooth. Feel it!”
Thusly defused, we take our leave. But not before I am again chastised for using the word “adventure” and not without much imitative leaping and twirling from the kid who supposedly doesn’t like dancing. Interesting. I think we’ll take the train home.