I try not to be an art snob, but really, I am one. Tonight, while watching white Missourians perform a traditional Japanese dance they made up, I thought, "I'm such a snob." "But then," I replied to myself, "You recognize art and have good taste, so you deserve to be." "Good point," I thought.
Still, a little goes a long way. The first real story the Bungraku puppeteers told--the one about a princess whose Samurai lover must kill himself for honor because of his master's failure--seemed to transcend their showyness and Americanism to become art. The puppeteers, dressed in black robes with black hoods hiding their faces, seemed to disappear; only the beautifully adorned princess puppet existed on stage. Flakes of confetti snow fell and princess' worry and fear and hope and quest became real. The Japanese opera seemed to use its music to connect me with the stage. For a moment, only a small moment, that feeling of humans reaching each other's souls through an art existed. That was enough.
I came home (though still laughing at the shameless capitalism of the troupe's leader,) with a piece of that feeling. I can't put it into words yet, but I don't think I need to. I'm learning that the best communication, real human understanding, doesn't need to be verbalized.