Time was, I went to the Capital Theatre (and other venues, too—PMT, Babcock, Abravanel Hall, etc.) all the time as a young person in Salt Lake City. Often I went alone, sometimes with others. Either way, I was a dedicated consumer of every last bit of the performing arts that I could get my hands on.
And then I graduated from college the first time around. And then it stopped.
It’s been at least twenty years since I set foot in Capitol Theatre. And suddenly, tonight, there I was again, appreciating a Ballet West presentation once again.
It’s been too long.
If there’s one saving grace of this metropolitan area, it’s that as a major tourist destination, we have a world-class set of attractions, and this includes the performing arts.
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Living as I do in Provo these days, it’s been so long since I saw a live performance of any kind that I’d forgotten how edifying and wonderful it is.
The last link that I had to any kind of live performance was my own, as a teacher, and I gave this up in 2014.
As a result, it’s been more than a year since I saw people appreciating one another, each in his or her own unique identity, knowledge, and creative self, in public. The publicness and generosity of spirit that public performance entails is one of the few things that can renew one’s faith in humanity in an era of corrupt politics, the decline of the cultural canon, global warming, runaway capitalism and consumerism, and so on.
Collective effervescence is a thing, and it is good. I need to have more of it in my life.
Witnessing someone’s act of sharing their inner self with everyone, everywhere can completely change your outlook on life for the better.
So long as individuals are willing to cry out in sincerity to their fellow humans, particularly to mere strangers, there is hope.
In a backhanded and totally incorrect way, it’s Habermas.
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Saw a band at The Bayou after the Ballet West performance. They had an Asian guitarist. He reminded me that Asians can, under the right circumstances, look cooler than anyone else on the planet, even if their default appearance is to look less cool than anyone else on the planet.
This guy had square half-bifocal glasses and a well-trimmed beard, and he frowned harshly as he played guitar. He looked like the Serious Einstein of Jazz. It was awesome, and he was pretty good. So, too were the crawdads.
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There remain a lot of problems to solve.
But we have, perhaps, solidified a foundation on which to stand as we solve them. One can hope. And believe.