Start to Dance

When Is It Too Late?

Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost.

Pina Bausch1

I. Raising the Curtain

My parents arrived at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport on time, with my sister, Annie, leading the way. While they’d seen some of the big top Cirque du Soleil shows in Montreal, it was the first time that my parents had set foot in Las Vegas, Nevada, the first time they would see the result of my work as creative director, and the first time they’d spend a few days in a row in my work space. I couldn’t recall if we’d ever experienced anything close to a real vacation together before, but this certainly felt the closest to such an experience. The only ones missing were my brother, and my daughter, Ella, who was in India with her mom.

My parents had worked hard all their adult lives, taking little or no vacation time over the decades, so the prospect of spending a few days together around the premiere of the MJ ONE show brought mixed feelings. Our lack of intimacy and trust meant that we don’t excel at simply being together. This lack of connection made my anxiety palpable, even as it was compounded with pride and warm-heartedness for them to finally be in town, and I wanted to treat them well. I made sure their hotel room was exquisite and located as close as possible to the theater so that walking to the premiere at the Mandalay Bay was easy and that I wouldn’t get last minute calls about them being lost. As I helped the driver take charge of their luggage ...

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