In the eye of the beholder

2008 November 6
by Simba

Isn’t it funny how we see so different things, even when watching the exact same event?

In the eye of the beholder

I remember seeing containers all over the place while we were renovating our appartment, a friend who is an architect and carpenter seemed to literally see through the walls in the house before we bought it. A trained art expert will instantly recognize the work of an artist, an analyst will see through the endless rows of numbers in a spreadsheet…

When we see people dancing, we notice different things. Where one sees excellent and clear lead, the other sees excessive adornos. Where one sees innovative moves, another sees boring repetition, where one sees old clichés, another sees elegance, musicality and smootheness.

I believe we in many regards see what we are looking for, and what we find familiar. In other words, when we are working on some element in our own dance, we are more likely to see who masters this particular element in other dancers. And easily fail to see other qualities.

Also, being able to notice excellence in others, requires a certain skill level. To be able to judge musicality, you need to know what is musical. To determine who has the better walk, you need to know how the walk should be. And so on. It has taken years and months for me to be able to determine by sight whether someone is a good dancer.

Now, on occations I have been able to spot a good dancer before she even changed her shoes. I would not say I am able to say exactly what it is that gives a good dancer away, but the way they walk is something I always pay attention to. High heels can be faked. the way you walk in them can’t. Only the good dancers got it.

The question is, do we see the same walk?

Photo: rykerstribe@flickr, CC-licensed

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