A One Act Play
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 2004
NADIA and KENJI are a colorfully dressed couple in their mid
thirties or older, serene and accomplished. They are at a New
Age gathering in the USA, and they talk to the audience as if
it were one or more of their new American friends, but no set
is necessary. The characters may sit on the ground or on a bench
or platform, and the piece may incorporate an electronic score
of Kenji's and some of Nadia's choregraphy-- or not.
NADIA We met at a festival in Greece.
KENJI And we knew at once that we were meant to be together.
NADIA: We had no common language. I'm Romanian.
KENJI: I'm Japanese.
NADIA: A few words of Greek, a few of English.
KENJI: But we had music.
NADIA: We had dance.
KENJI: Nadia had dance. I had lost touch with my body. But she
taught me, and then we had dance.
NADIA: We decided both to learn English.
KENJI: With English you can be the most free, travel the most
of the world.
NADIA: I started out as a potter. Then, the dance was just for
health, for exercise. You get all stiffed up, sitting hours at
KENJI: Her pots were very beautiful. They remind me of Zen pots,
the oldest and simplest and most valuable.
NADIA: They were beautiful. But so heavy! You know? The weight
of the earth.
KENJI: I could see that Nadia was my opposite-- my complement.
NADIA: Grounded is good. But you know, a potter can never be
free. A potter is so heavy, bound not just to the clay, but the
wheel and the tools and the kiln. A pot is real and useful as
well as beautiful--
KENJI: Grounded. Real and useful.
NADIA: But so many of them! Every new pot a burden, a heavy thing
to be guarded from breakage, carried to market, stored. I began
to feel that I was building my own tomb.
KENJI: While I was building nothings. Structures in the air:
NADIA: I went out less and less, so busy making and storing.
People were distractions to me-- to me, who as a child was always
laughing and playing and singing and dancing with friends!
KENJI: Human beings began to seem very small, very far away.
One day I looked up from my studies and realized: I was lonely.
NADIA: Me, too. Lonely. I realized. I looked up an old friend,
a dancer, and went to visit her.
KENJI: I went down into town, and passed a wine bar where some
musicians were playing. I walked in and listened for a while to
this trio. Their music. Some of it sounded familiar, but I couldn't
put a name to it. Later, I realized that their music was like
the music I always heard in my dreams. Not the same, only like.
NADIA: My friend was going to this festival in Greece.
KENJI: Isn't that strange? The trio made me think: what about
music? Music was in my dreams. What is it for?
NADIA: One of my friend's dance students was supposed to go with
her, do small parts and help with the equipment. But the student
got sick. My friend asked me to take her place, to go with the
dancers to Greece.
KENJI: When I went back to the wine bar the trio was gone. But
there was a poster of them-- they were going next to play at the
Greek festival. I decided to go there to hear them again. Something
called me. All this time, music in my dreams, and never had I
NADIA: I had not danced since I was a child!
KENJI: Since I was a child I had not played an instrument. I
found my old violin, and took it with me.
NADIA: It brought us together.
KENJI: When I began playing again, I didn't get out my old music.
I played what was in my dreams.
NADIA: When I heard it, I had to come and dance.
KENJI: So many years I didn't pay attention. Always I had the
music in my dreams. And so did she! Same music! We discovered!
NADIA: I don't always, not like Kenji does.
KENJI: But when she does-- sometimes it's the same music! We
NADIA: My dream was his dream.
KENJI: Music is a sound wave is the butterfly wing that changes
the whole universe!
NADIA: Not so unusual to dream music. Many people do, I think.
Kenji's though--- when I dream it, I don't feel that it is my
music. It's coming from somewhere else, beyond my understanding.
But for him, it is his own... composed or at least as the material
for composition as it comes in his dreams.
KENJI: Always. I wake up and write down, or try to but forget.
But Nadia remembers for me!
NADIA: Not always, not even most. But if I had heard his dream....
KENJI: I come to the part that is missing, and Nadia has it!
NADIA: I can sing it, or dance it for him.
KENJI: Or even beat it on the drum. I write it down, and the
rest comes flooding back to me. In the night I would use a notebook
and flashlight, but now I use a recorder, a tiny recorder, under
my pillow. It is so easy, I don't even have to wake up, but I
can put it into my recorder as part of the dream.
NADIA: But it is not always there when you wake up? Is it?
KENJI: No. Usually, but not always. Sometimes I have only dreamed
that I have recorded it. (they laugh)
NADIA: We travel to bring this all over.
KENJI: We do workshops.
NADIA: I teach dance. People are my pots now, bodies my clay.
I ground them, I mold them, but they are not heavy. I shape them
for music, for soul, so they can fly.
KENJI: Most people come to this country for the economy.
NADIA: Even artists.
KENJI: They teach for the money and the fame. They make their
art a commodity.
NADIA: Not us.
KENJI: Money is of no interest to us.
NADIA: We come for the spirit. The freedom.
KENJI: Places like this, where people gather, we are home.
NADIA: The air-- you can smell it.
KENJI: The way people walk and sit and listen.
NADIA: With their souls.
KENJI: All over the world there's the longing.
NADIA: Wherever we go, we find it.
KENJI: People trapped in themselves, but ready to be free.
NADIA: We unwrap them, we give them wings.
KENJI: Wherever we go, butterflies.