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The Dance of Death (excerpts)



[Chorus in silk dressing gowns. Their clothes on the ground. As they sing they take off their dressing gowns revealing handsome two-piece bathing suits. They dance and lie on the stage in various patterns. A Medicine Ball.]



Gents from Norway
Ladies from Sweden
Don’t stand in the doorway
Come, this is what you’ve been needing.
Boys from France
Join in our dance;
Italian belles, valiant belles
And anyone else
With profs. from Germany
All sing in harmony
Come out into the sun.
Strip off your shirt
Kick off your shoes
It won’t hurt
To leave behind those office blues
Here on the beach
You’re out of reach
Of sad news, bad news
You can refuse
The invitation
To self-examination
Come out into the sun.
Are you too fat
And getting bigger
He’ll see to that
He’ll give you a grecian figure
As the sun rises
Shall strengthen you, lengthen you
Build you anew.
When day is ended
You shall feel splendid;
Come out into the sun.
Lie down on the sand
Feel the sun on our flesh;
It’s so grand;
Boy, you’ll soon want to get fresh.
Living with nature
Is the life of the future
The new life, the true life
The life for you.
Europe’s in a hole
Millions on the dole
But come out into the sun.
We shall build to-morrow
A new clean town
With no more sorrow
Where lovely people walk up and down.
We shall all be strong
We shall all be young
No more tearful days, fearful days
Or unhappy affairs
We shall all pull our weight
Revolutionary worker
I get what you mean.
But what you’re needing
S’ a revolution within
So let’s begin.
Banker, boxer, burglar,
Hostess and girl gone wrong
We’ve got you beat to a frazzle
This is where you belong
Hear our song.
How happy are we
In our country colony
We play games
We call each ther by our christian names
Sitting by streams
We have sweet dreams
You can take it as true
That Voltaire knew
We cultivate our gardens when we’re feeling blue
Lying close to the soil
Our hearts strike oil
We live day and night
In the inner light
We contemplate our navels till we’ve second sight
Gosh, it’s all right
In our country colony.
[Towrds the end of the dance A gets out of time.]
Several of the Audience. Clumsy, can’t you count? You are
spoiling the dance.
Chorus. [Whispering to A.] One, two, three, four.
  1. [Breaking off and coming forward.]
I won’t dance any more
You are mistaken
About the path you have taken
What you desire
Is no earthly fire
You won’t find the truth
In a beautiful youth
Nor will it be found
In tilling the ground
For the Eternal Word
Has no habitation
In beast or bird
In sea or stone
Nor in the circumstances
Of country dances
It abideth alone.
He who would prove
The Primal love
Must leave behind
All love of his kind
And fly alone
To the Alone.
Chorus. We don’t understand.
Women. [Ceasing to be scenery.]
We do, and he’s right
You were fooled all right
You thought you were escaping from sin
By leaving us out but you left yourselves in.
Chorus. This is something new
We don’t know what to do

W. H. Anden

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012