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Reply To: Why Not Dance?” with mythologist Catherine Svehla, Ph.D.”


Lovely essay Catherine!

As for female tricksters, I wonder if real life legends could provide examples?

Grania? (Grace O’Malley) Irish pirate queen or She-King of the Seas?

It seems that kind of resourcefulness has its own cleverness and tricks (though done on behalf of her people.)

If someone asked a young teen today they might come up with the movie’s imaginary Harley-Quinn? (The pun write in the name)

Sometimes, I wonder if a type of literal perception makes the female trickster less noticeable? (i.e. seeing those terms in a negative light rather than seeing the expansive potential within?)

But with exceptions…scanned an article of modern woman artist who says she would rather go to the trickster for inspiration than the hero. Though wish could remember her name. She was from Australia.

On a different note speaking of “why not dance…”

I have had some interesting experiences, which involve dance and trickster energy.
There were various dances, I had choreographed…(some for a one woman show—different styles of tap.)

But each dance seemed to me to have it’s own “personality.” There were definitely character dances in the mix but the two which come to mind the most were “Will Rogers,” and “Whimsey.” (a Charlie-Chaplin/buster keaton type of character) They both had props…a rope and a hat. And those props began to take on a “trickster energy of their own.” (Well minus the cowboy hat which had a strap)

I had to spin the rope and began to get the hang of it but sometimes it flew out of my hands or would tangle itself up almost with a mind of its own. So the rope soon earned a name “Nanobozo,”speaking of coyotes!

And there was the hat in the other dance, which I would spin on my finger. I was supposed to make a deft twirl and place it back on my head. But the hat alas often had other ideas. Such as flying off my finger like a frisbee or flying saucer. Sometimes it was easy to imagine it having a life of its own even in my hands. Every time I took it on and off my head! But I suppose from such fancies stories can me made!

Funnily I had read an article about Tricksters in a magazine and wrote the author who suggested that same book: “Trickster Makes this World.” I never found it so perhaps it’s time I try again!

The other irony in dance  is performing literal fool/jester dances…”fool on the hill.” And then for a mythic laugh what are the chances of coming across a “Fool,” song related to a group with erm a coyote moniker? Universe has a sense of humor.

And regardless on or off a stage all those lessons of the trickster definitely come into play! Including  learning how to mostly keep ones feet on the ground—-even with stumbles and faux pas along the way.  But if the ground is solid as you say… “why not dance?” Love it!