They come to the dance because it's not good for man to be alone. And certainly not for woman to be alone.
The dance, simple yet revealing, unveils the characters as they dip and sway in and out of their façades - their smiling anger, silent disapproval, glib jokes. There's a little of everyone here at the dance - the insecure, the confident, the desperate, the seeking. And each character mirrors the actions of countless onlookers.
First, there's Brad and Janet, whose performance as a loving couple is motivated solely by Brad's desire to see a jealous fire in Marcie's eyes. There's Howard, the bachelor MC; and Alison, newly divorced. Give Howard a mike and a spotlight, and the world is his stage, but his audience of one is too close to reality. Meanwhile Alison, reaching through her pain, finds another in need. And there's Karen and Neil. Is marriage and life doomed go on for time and all eternity like a broken record, never changing? The dancers argue and resolve, avoid and confront, talk and listen, love and are loved.
Carol Lynn Pearson's lively book is both dazzling and reflective. The Dance is a spotlight on life, a dialogue and a soliloquy, fiction yet truth. As the reader gains insight into the dancers' world, they will come to understand that even after the band leaves, the dance goes on.
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