Julia @ 'The Beast in the Jungle' - I only wish I could be that graceful
What's it about?
John Marcher reveals the story of how he let the love of his life, May, slip away into his nephew's arms due to his beast.
I have never been a fan of dance, mainly because I have no rhythm in my body. I don’t go out to clubs or see dance shows. Most of the singers I listen to don’t dance when they perform. And I'm gonna be quite honest here, I'm one of those rare people that doesn't like West Side Story. I watched the film for a musical theater class in high school and it just didn't click with me.
My cousins from New Jersey are ballet dancers and I haven’t ever gone to see any of their performances.
I’m just not attracted to dance.
And I bet you can imagine my surprise when during the play, people just started leaping around the stage and standing on their tiptoes. I didn’t feel as if the dancing itself was a part of the story, but expressed the story in ways words couldn’t. The main character, John Marcher kept saying he had this beast inside of him, but he couldn’t ever explain it properly. I kept thinking about the Beauty and the Beast show from The CW where Vincent Keller just lashes out with his wild animal features whenever he gets frustrated.
The only thing he said about how it came to be was that when he lived in the USSR, his mother left him and his sister when he was about seven and his father committed suicide by stepping in front of a train in front of them. His sister eventually left him, too. The loss of his family in the way that it happened apparently made him unlovable and when moments occurred that he thought he could actually feel loved was when the Beast would come out.
He loved the character May but when he tried to make something out of it, the stage would go black and a dancer in a black costume that covered their face would come out and carry around a black fabric that looked demonic. John would move around erratically, expressing the fear he had in every move. He ran around the stage with his face filled with terror. When the moment passed, his breathing was heavy and his face was sweaty.
He kept blaming the beast, but to me I thought it was a panic attack. I have a great interest in psychology and I learned that events from a person’s past – like witnessing his father’s suicide at such a young age and growing up in a hostile environment like the USSR – can affect their behavior. If he had gotten help from a therapist or maybe taken some medication at one point in his life, I think the beast wouldn’t have haunted him to his old age.
Besides my psychoanalytical points, I wanted to point out that the dancing was actually entertaining to watch. The young John Marcher actor just twirled around in the air so beautifully - something like this:
I only wish I could be that graceful when I walk.
Fun Fact: I have actually just started taking private dance classes (cuz my mother forced me to...) a while ago and this show has given me a lot more motivation.
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