Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sirius Consequences

The dog days of August that scorched New York and ignited fires in the West have passed. I've noticed this last week that the light has begun to look bruised late in the afternoon and the air is starting to chill, like an old woman's hands. Harvest time. The squirrels are eating anything resembling fruit and stashing nuts in flower pots. I can smell the tangy rot of apples. In the yard, the petals of white dinner plate dahlias are mashed on the ground.

Other smells--the scent of sorrow in the body politic mixed with an ugly stink of predation. I've watched public cheating and stealing being tossed off as a kind of game by people who have no need to cheat or steal. Much of the social contract is broken. And beneath that rot I detect an odor of abiding fear. The economy is held aloft by churning debt, and soldiers are returning from an infernal occupation looking more gruesome than anything Mary Shelley imagined for her Monster. We're living in an age of hucksterism bolstered by inquisitorial zeal.

Red or blue, it isn't what most of us signed up for.

This next year things are going to rock and roll. An election is coming. Remember the last two?

The good news, if you believe in signs and portents, is that the Muslim and Jewish new years, Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah, both began yesterday. A new synchronized beginning....I can dream can't I?

L'shanah tovah.

Kullu Sana wa Antum bi-Khayr.

The top of the dance season is also here. This week Jo Kreiter's Flyaway Productions takes on war and propaganda in her latest piece, "Lies You Can Dance To." Next week Mark Morris' deceptively formal Mozart Dances makes its premiere in Berkeley. Morris, whom pianist Emanuel Ax suggested could have been a conductor had he not been a dancer, has crafted a night packed with piano music--a tryptich of 2 concertos and one sonata with three sections each.

Cal Performances then launches into a Twylathon, beginning with the Joffrey Ballet performing Deuce Coupe.

Lines Ballet's 25th anniversary season begins November 2 with the inimitable Zakhir Hussain, the genius of tabla, and Philharmonia Chamber Players.

Music is dance's main squeeze this season; Politics is its shadow.

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