Just a little groove to ease us into Wednesday.
This song will always remind me of my first Drama movement class at university. Assembled with 70 other insecure, supple first year hopefuls on the Rhodes Drama department stage, I blushed and perspired my way through a round of obligatory introductions and “icebreakers” (introduce yourself to those assembled by singing your name and doing an accompanying action that lets us know how you are feeling today, and other palpitation-inducing Drama 1 gems).
Just the word “icebreaker” is now enough to set off a zing of panic in my body and pain on my brow. When the movement teacher then told us to rise to our feet and “fill the spaces”, i.e. fling ourselves about the stage artfully in a way that was just downright embarrassing and, to put it plainly, a reason for the more pretentious among us to really “give it stick”… well, I was finished. Fill the spaces? En masse? I’d rather pretend to be a flowering tree or do an interpretive dance to a tubular bells compilation, thanks. But when Lindiwe Matshikiza pressed play on her boombox, and the sweet strains of Marvin Gaye began to filter into the auditorium, everything changed.
Being the precocious, 17 year old music nut that I was, I asked “Is this Marvin Gaye?” She nodded quietly. And I detected a new-found respect.
And then I began to fill the spaces.