Russian Love Affair

Since I can remember, I`ve resonated with Russian giants.  Before I was born my name was going to be Natasha or Anoushka, I´ve been told.  As a young girl at 14, I was asked to play Shakespeare`s Juliette both on stage and at an acting summer school.  To understand her strong will, I would delve into the depths of Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski, wrapping his cloak around the character and fulling identifying with her pains and angst.  Tchaikovsky would send me to sleep, playing on a pink tape recorder by my wooded posted bed, before falling into a deep sleep, dreaming of a land where people unleashed their passion and romance. Far from dull, grey England with people that thrived by living in tepid watered emotions, never daring to delve to their darkest depths, either alone or with each other.
     In my twenties, reading Turgenev was like a refreshing mist.  Here was a man in first love who is taunted and teased by his affection that outwardly shows his favor yet inwardly sways towards fondness rather than love, much to his inward torture and confusion.  Turgenev gave me the faith to look a little deeper into man's hearts and not fear them as I had so many times as a young girl as their gestures of affection were often aggressive, awkward or cold.  Having doubted that men too could feel such depths, Turgenev gave this young woman hope that men`s souls too could feel that gamut of emotions and that maybe, just maybe there is someone that could resonate with endlessly romantic soul.
   Summer`s spent traveling through Germany, France, Italy and Spain, I would compose long written diary entries imagining myself as a young Russian girl exploring Europe for the first time.  After University, I went to visit a fellow Oxford graduate working in Stuttgart.  One night while he was out at the Synagogue and I had decided to stay in his flat and I put on a Shostakovich record of his and danced wildly around his empty, expansive flat overlooking the hills pepped with Germanic houses.
  There is something that stirs my soul that I don`t quite understand why, having never been to this vast land and not really having the desire to when I hear of the contemporary social, political and economic situation and yet, when I heard Stravinski`s Rite of Spring at the Center National Danse Contemporarian as I danced, eyes closed and joined by hands with 10 other briefly blind dancers, we ebbed and flowed with the intensity of rites that have been lived out through the ages.  Through my love affair with Russian art I am able to understand humans at a levels that are inaccessible in contemporary social situations.  Russia has taken me to the hotbed emotional core that is so often ignored, suppressed and therefore misunderstood.  Why fear such elemental force?