I mean: you can be part of the audience and part of the art. How do you think a society can be built without an understanding of both? I think the best way to put it to people is there are two different types of social dance, and they are fundamentally different. The one that I call, with regard to our society, is a dance that is made in a factory, and that is the kind of dance that the workers can make themselves feel superior to the people in the factories; it’s a kind of dance that has a sense of belonging, of accomplishment, that feels like a job to everybody, and the way in which you can do this is to take things to the limits of your capabilities, and to express your strengths through the limits of your limitations, which are very narrow. Now, another kind of dance that is kind of a combination of both of these is the art of dancing in front of people, of being the only one of two people that can dance together on the dance floor. This is something that people have always done in a kind of quasi-competitive way: you go up, you dance a piece for everyone else, and then you get off.
This is, of course, the kind of thing that we see in American culture, which is an art of dancing against other people. And it’s a good image of dance; they are in competition with one another, and they think they’re the only ones that can dance. But what we say in New York now, and I’ve said this for a long time, is that the kind of dance that I call social dancing is also the kind of dance you need to have between friends and strangers, with people you’re close to, and all the other kinds of dancing, the rest of the dance floor. That’s what I call “the good, healthy, productive dancing.” This is part of our democratic society.
This is also part of the kind of dancing that you do between people that isn’t only between close friends and strangers, between work colleagues and friends, or work colleagues with family, or in the same building together. This is the kind of dancing you do with people who’ve never met and who are not going to spend a lot of time together. And if this sort of dance had happened, it would have broken, because there would have been a very bitter struggle between people. So we have to move on, and we have to see that as a part of our democratic society, and it’s very important that
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