My Answer to Cancer – The Last Dance
UPDATED MAY 17 2019. I reached up at consciousness as I lay half awake in a heap of sore and stiff muscles on the floor.
My eyes struggled to open and depart the sweetness of my dreams. Dance had once again come to torment me to whisk me away from the ordinary, and into my pain, my ecstasy and my fantasy. Why now after 43 years does dance come calling once again? My settled and well aged muscles, ligaments and tendons are screaming for mercy. I was scheduled to dance again on May 13 2018 at the annual Aristoleo Awards. Stephen Hornestein had also agreed to travel from Israel to play. The last time we performed this dance piece was 38 years ago. It will be broadcast live on social media. The photo below is from a performance at the opening of the Morris Louis exhibit at the Israel museum in 1981. Stephen is playing his tenor saxophone and I am leaping into the painting.
This was the last day of my 30 day journey into the most unfathomable moments of my past. My sudden re-entry into the world of dance. Why must I once again answer the call of the siren that’s been whispering in my ear for decades? I have managed to resist her hypnotic song of my sweet dread for a long time. I have not longed for this moment this insane moment of truth. It has arrived uninvited. How far can I push my inner will to manifest above and beyond all normal development or physical ability? Soon I will find out. I gave myself 30 days because to prolong it would be too painful. If It can be done then 30 days should be enough. Besides an extreme amount of visualization I only had 3 rehearsals. I relied on a movement method I have been developing for the last 30 years based on ancient Hellenic pre-socratic training methods. I was on a personal quest to recreate a solo dance I performed dozens of times in Jerusalem in the late 70s and early 80s. A controlled frenzy stemming from a juxtaposition of intensity and relaxation in 12 minutes. It was created for me by the legendary dance educator and choreographer Flora Cushman. It fit me like a glove; it challenged my technical abilities just enough so I could overcome them without sacrificing my self expression. This is the mark of a great choreographer and the sweet spot in dance. This is a major part of my journey into finding a cure for prostate cancer,
In the past I would run up and down stairs before every performance to the point of exhaustion. The amount of energy I would gain as soon as I stepped on stage was too much for my well rested body to handle; it would cause me to tremble and shake and interfere with my rhythm and timing. Entering the performance space exhausted was the ideal way for me to reach peak performance. Like an athlete in the “zone” I was able to reach beyond my abilities and overcome my technical deficiencies. I was much better on stage than I could ever hope to be in dance class. When people would see me in class they would not recognize me. In class I would trip and fall, lose my balance and stumble across the floor out of tune and out of place.
For now I will continue to defy the sense of reality and the mindless pursuit of mediocrity. As a wise man once said you cannot continue to act the same way and expect a different result. Greatness cannot rise out of mediocrity but very often we see mediocrity rise out of greatness. It is the basic trait of politicians, academics or an olive grower who exchanges his/hers passion and integrity for short term gain.
There is a great battle being waged inside me. I attempt to defy the odds and climb the mountain. I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer last October 2018. Of course the cancer would be aggressive. This is my response:
This dance is my answer to cancer
Art can be an effective treatment for many diseases. To fight cancer and win there must be a complete overhaul on everything that caused it in the first place. All the positives must be brought together all the negative characteristics must be eliminated. My first line of defense when faced with cancer is ATTITUDE. Recreating my greatest positive accomplishments – those moments of excellence and high achievement is my answer to cancer.
Dance represents to me the strongest motivation for success. It also contains a huge reservoir of emotion which if properly channeled can create miracles. Dance is my best example of making the impossible possible. Within 2 short years I went from having no dance training, or desire, to securing a full scholarship to MUDRA one of the best dance schools in the world; and dancing on the stage of the Herod theatre at the foot of the acropolis… this is where I saw my first ballet performance which made me want to be a ballet dancer; I was 18 years old – at 20 I was dancing on that same stage.
Now I am focusing all my energy on researching the healing powers of olive oil phenolics as a treatment for cancer by direct injection. We are raising money to fund the research that I believe will lead to more effective cancer treatments with less side effects. For more details follow the link below,.
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Contact Athan – email: firstname.lastname@example.org