#SpeakingInDance: Warm Hearts in the Winter Cold
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#SpeakingInDance: Warm Hearts in the Winter Cold

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“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” ~ The Talmud

The temperature has started to drop — the lowest is around 3 degrees Celsius on average. The sun has been hiding out a lot and the rain has become our frequent visitor.

As I was walking home last night after class from Bastille, I saw a young man with his backpack kneeling next to an older man who lived on side of rue Rivoli. On his own, he was delivering food to the homeless people in the bitter cold. I could feel his warm heart from a distance.

Antonin Vanlangendonck, 22, a beautiful French contemporary choreographer and dancer. “I tap into themes that are vital to me, such as nature, the possibilities of body, my past and my thoughts on how to build the future, my fears and my convictions. I also try to have inspirations from books, authors and dancers — from the ones whom I look up to. Martha Graham, Carolyn Carlson, Ohad Naharin and Beaudelaire or Edgar Poe — for his poetry and severity of the words and ideas they wanted to share in their art.”
Antonin Vanlangendonck, 22, a beautiful French contemporary choreographer and dancer. “I tap into themes that are vital to me, such as nature, the possibilities of body, my past and my thoughts on how to build the future, my fears and my convictions. I also try to have inspirations from books, authors and dancers — from the ones whom I look up to. Martha Graham, Carolyn Carlson, Ohad Naharin and Beaudelaire or Edgar Poe — for his poetry and severity of the words and ideas they wanted to share in their art.”

His action reminded me to make sure to bring a small package to the man who lives next to the entrance of the supermarket near my home. He has blonde hair and red cheeks. He does not bother anyone or ask for anything from other people. He sits there. Sometimes, he gets up and walks around the block. On occasion, I will leave him something, usually when he is not looking.

It’s cautiousness on my part. I try not to build a personal relationship with him. I have wondered if my concern is valid. I have wondered what his life story might be. Does he have a family? What happened to him? When I see him smoking, I want to tell him smoking is bad for him. I want to tell him that he needs to eat warm food in winter and not drink beer.

The Christmas lights have started to brighten up the Parisian streets. One of the most enchanting moments every year is when the Christmas lights on Champs-Elysées come on. Last year, the late Karl Lagerfeld did the inauguration of the Christmas lights there. This year was Ludivine Sagnier, a French actress and model who was nominated for Cesar Awards for Best Supporting actress in the movie Swimming Pool, directed by well-known French director Francois Ozon. Like last year, the lights are red. The company involved is committed to an eco-friendly approach and the lights will be used for a few seasons. The city is starting to be filled with festivities.

Christmas lights on Champs-Elysées.
Christmas lights on Champs-Elysées.

I have always loved Christmas. It is one of the few times of the year when most of us would put down our differences for a few days and focus on our similarities. Efforts will be made to see the people you have not seen in a while with the hope to share a beautiful time together. A synchronised movement to remember to love.

Many years ago, I saw a movie titled Joyeux Noël. It has been one of those “based on true events” movies that stuck with me. The film is based on the actual event called Christmas Truce, a series of unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of World War I around Christmas 1914. French, German and British soldiers decided on their own to stop trying to kill each other, put down their weapons and crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk.

In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. Apparently, there were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another, creating one of the most memorable images of the truce.*

Fashion designer Antony de Maison (Instagram @antonydemaison) and model-stylist Julie Lucas (Instagram @julie_lucas_cz) have been friends since they were three years old. Now they work together in Paris, France.
Fashion designer Antony de Maison (Instagram @antonydemaison) and model-stylist Julie Lucas (Instagram @julie_lucas_cz) have been friends since they were three years old. Now they work together in Paris, France.

In the movie, it also showed that even though the ceasefire lasted for only a few days, it instilled something back within some of the soldiers — the beauty of humanity.

I have wondered, maybe if everyone loved dancing or are passionate about some form of the arts, we would not have any wars. As we would be too busy with creating out of love. If we are more connected with love and peace, would hate and anger still drive our actions? What would make us love each other more than the smell of blood?

I hope one day, we will find the answers.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

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Patsy Lo is the founder and curator of sml Dance.  Originally from Hong Kong, Patsy worked in marketing for more than 20 years globally.  At 48, she left Apple Inc. after working for the American tech giant in various cities to become a full-time dance student in Paris, France.  She still lives in Paris, practising ballet and contemporary Graham technique.  Besides dancing more than 20 hours every week, she is also the founder of sml (@sml_dance on Instagram), which curates dance performances. The aim of the company is three fold, make dance more accessible, provide a bridge for choreographers and dancers to cross platforms, and ultimately, inspire people to reconnect within themselves and feel, move and expand more.
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