Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Dream: T_____ and I were going to Cleveland to witness that city’s pride: A folk dancing festival that centered around one dance in particular: Burly construction men from Northeastern Ohio, backpedaling atop stacks of bricks. Like log-rolling for brick-layers, the dance had been born spontaneously when Cleveland’s economy collapsed. For, at the very moment of Cleveland’s financial fall, a building-in-progress had literally collapsed. The men working on it fell two stories with the bricks that tumbled violently beneath their feet. In the middle of the unexpected avalanche, some men saved their own lives by intuitively inventing the Dance of the Stack of Bricks, while others broke their legs from the incident; some even died.

The “dance floor” was arranged like so: There was a long ditch in which were placed numerous five foot-high rectangular structures that looked like chimneys. The loose bricks were stacked on top of the “chimneys” of fixed brick. The dancers were then to "dance" on top of this brick-on-brick arrangement. The various stages of the competition entailed more loose bricks being added to the pile of each contestant still left standing at the end of each round.

In a less popular “Cleveland folk dance,” called “The Three Legged Race,” the outer leg of each of two adjacent men was strapped together to the other's AND a third man (facing backwards) was strapped with BOTH his legs into the same bind. Once strapped as such, the new “leg” took on a life of its own, and would only move with coaxing and guidance, or flogging. The man with both legs bound held a whip; only he was allowed to use it on the stubborn limb.



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