She is free; sliding, gliding loosely across the floor, even buoyant, airborne at times. Her dance is solitary, full of grace but surprisingly acrobatic as she levitates high in the room, spinning, tumbling. The music is for her alone. She is oblivious, lost, to the world around her. It is a joyous dance, hedonistic, erotic. Her environment is pure air, nothing else but the walls around her which allow her to bounce softly back and forth with arms outstretched, propelled by some mysterious force.
But the atmosphere suddenly thickens with peril. An unknown force, an enemy, bursts in wielding weapons. She is brave and strong as she plants her feet firmly on the ground to face her adversary. She fights, aware she must protect an invisible crowd from harm. It is all up to her. A chase, she the pursued. Panic. Then the power shifts as she becomes the pursuer. Somehow a large paddle like a cricket bat appears in her hands while she is momentarily distracted from this battle to sort papers. Her strength in prodigious. She delivers a crushing blow, knowing she could conquer anything. Her enemy falls as the bat splinters on his body. Vanquished. Her world is safe. But no. As he went down he landed a deep stab with his sword into the left side of her abdomen.
She awakens with the pain of the wound which disappears the instant she returns to this reality. She yearns to recapture the freedom of that dance, to bring it to this world. But at what price?
*Christian Rohlfs, “Nu de femme dansant”, 1927.