Photo from Ferdinand Cacnio
(Dedicated to Bianca and Pancho, mis queridos)
Ever since I met Tito Ferdie back in 2008, or 2009, I’ve always admired his sculptures, and so I do my best to go to his exhibits whenever I can, and if I do catch him there, I beg to have tea/coffee/hot chocolate with him. However I never found the right words to describe his work, until today. Tito Ferdie often uses ballerinas as the subject of his work, although he does deviate at times; however he always surprises me on how he aids me in experiencing the beauty of humanity. His sculptures emit strong feelings, really, and his ballerinas depict the dance of a martyr.
If one looks at a ballerina dancing, she is a graceful, fluid, and moving form. But that’s just the surface. Whenever I see my best friend dance, I often get the urge to cry. I can’t explain why I feel it, but I do. We know that ballets and ballerinas are beautiful, but what we overlook is that they are martyrs, carrying the weight of the world on their extended arms, legs, and toes. It looks easy on stage, but, oh, the pain a ballerina must feel. And yet the continue to dance. They continue to struggle to extract beauty from within themselves. I’ve always seen my best friend extract beauty from inside her, and I am moved to tears because I know I have a beautiful friend, inside and out.
The struggle for beauty is captured in Tito Ferdie’s work. In Jete (pictured above), the ballerina in the attitude en pointe position looks as if she is carrying something with her entire body, and balancing herself only on her toes. What could that be? It looks like she’s about to fall. What is she trying to save? What is she trying to hold on to? Her expression is full of guilt mixed with confidence, and the firmness of her hands will catch whatever is about to fall. She becomes a martyr, and her dance is her battle to save something important. It could be beauty, innocence, faith, whatever. Ballerinas dance to save something.
And that’s why when @panchodelaluna, who accompanied me to see some exhibits today, said that everyone should dance, I couldn’t help but agree. Dancing epitomizes love, of intimacy. It’s a saving power. And anyone who dances struggles to bring back love lost in mediocrity — that is why dancing is an art!
So, let us all be dancers as we, too, struggle in this world. Let us dance to save each other.
Ballerinas dance for us. They dance to save us.