I met Margret Dietz the year before she died. Others dancers had much more time with her, and more intimate conversations. My relationship with her was quite brief by comparison. Yet she changed my life in a way I am still discovering, still trying to embody. Her gravestone, which you can see on my website, bears the inscription "To dance is my way of saying yes to life."
I recently watched the movie called "The Reader" with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. As I watched the story unfold I thought about that post WW2 Germany and her work with the rehabilitation of members of the Nazi Youth Corp. The exercises she used are the same ones I use in my fitness and personal training work.
I love her hands in this photo. Her fingers are like little branches growing up toward the light out of that amazing backward arching of the spine. Her throat exposed, the billowing skirt, and the movement of the shoulder blades back toward the spine opening the heart all speak of surrender: the surrender of a women who lost her father to the Nazi's and her husband and son to a train wreck. A woman who took a gas mask off a dead man and walked out of Dresden during the bombing. Haunted, yet still willing to somehow say "yes" to life.
to be continued...