Pushing the boundaries

Picture Forth Road Bridge

Forth Road Bridge

How can you turn a rather normal Saturday into something special? Maybe by watching a great dance performance by Jasmin Vardimon Company, which deals with hell as subject matter and toured successfully around the UK so far. I watched it and it was great. The first half could have done with some more spice, but one of the dancers stomping her feet in gumboots did it for me. The second half was what I would call great dance theatre, with influences from Pina Bausch and Lemi Ponifasio, whose shows I have seen at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival. I am always impressed by the physicality and the human effort that goes into such shows, and not at least it is a joy to watch those perfectly formed bodies of dancers moving. So if you cycle, but think dance is not your thing, think again.

There are a lot of similarities between dancers and cyclists, at least the ones that take their subject seriously. Discipline is one thing that connects us, you simply cannot do one or the other without it. But with discipline comes the chance to reach great goals and satisfaction. Discipline is also a minor evil to fulfil ambition, another connecting pin between both groups. Both require a healthy set of ambition and you will enjoy them, but if you’re over-ambitious you will ruin the whole thing. Another main aspect that combines both of us, dancers and cyclists, which was also subject matter of the show called 7734, is beauty. Beauty in all it’s shapes. Dance shows us the possibilities to showcase the human body in it’s full beauty and all it’s versatility, and so does cycling. Watch people like Danny MacAskill and you will get a sense of how perfect human body and bike can work together. Road cycling, and especially fixed gear cycling, is a great example for the perfect combination of both rider and bike that form one powerful unit, one reason for me to go singlespeed every now and then. With cycling mostly comes both strength and a body that impresses more than the ones that spend their free time drinking beer on the couch.

Jasmin vadimon 7734

Jasmin Vardimon's 7734

But it’s also the beauty you experience both in cycling and by watching a great dance show. Both can transform your life, move you further, give you an idea where you want to head next. And as a last thing, both genres, great art and great sport, are things that complement each other. I am the best example that in interest in one does not exclude the other. Yes, arty persons can do a lot of exercise as good as they can produce and watch great art. It’s the perfect combination to expereince beauty in all it’s shapes.

To spice up things a wee bit, I chose to put a bit of physicality into the game myself and cycled to the performance, and back. If you are a city slicker you might now come up saying: so what? Considering the fact that the show was not a matinee performance and the venue was 65km away, you might change your mind. Having recently overcome my fear of cycling in the dark I used going to the show as a perfect excuse to give it another shot. To add some more spice I took my singlespeed, and the whole night was a great success. The first 65km along the Northern shore of the Firth of Forth were perfect, with crossing the Forth Road Bridge being a perfect backdrop for some pictures, which can be found here. Diving into to setting sun first it was great to experience the transition from day into night in it’s full length, with the security that you have the backup of good lights. A magic clear night was followed by the performance, and after this ‘interval’ I was  back on the road at 22.50 to start the second leg. With fairly quite roads I did not worry being kicked off the road, and the new Piko lights again did a great job. This time I cycled with only half of the beam, which was still plenty to examine the road for potential potholes. Roughly 3 hours later I was back home, and happy. I had a great cycle to the performance, watched a great show and had another great experience cycling through the stillness of the night. I felt sorry for all the drunken people in front of the takeaways I passed, and my night was completed with scrambled eggs instead of fries. I had deserved them.