Jenny and I took in the Festival of Perth production of “Happy as Larry”, a contemporary dance devised by Shaun Parker and inspired by the themes of the enneagram, an ancient system used today in personality profiling and spiritual direction. As someone who has worked with the enneagram over many years, I was particularly interested to see how contemporary dance might interpret and present it. The energetic and winsome performance was engaging in its own right, but might have frustrated those who were bent on seeking to identify categorically the specific enneagram spaces. It was much more subtle than that, and therefore, in my view, a faithful presentation of the moving and integrating energies within the system. Here and there an identifiable “label” appeared, but was quickly subsumed into the dynamic of the drama of interaction that did not ignore the dark places of the types in their “pursuit of happiness.” My remark at the end of the performance was “I’m not sure what they did, but they did it well.” It was only on awakening the next morning that I remembered and became aware of what had been happening in some of the more enigmatic dance sequences.
Dancing the Enneagram
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