The Destruction of a Goddess

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Bodies never lie

Martha Graham

Vi sat in the back row of the Performing Arts Center, her clipboard on the seat beside her. She wasn’t taking notes. There was no point. Everything was wrong. She shook her head, wishing she had never agreed to this job.

The piano was out of tune, and the accompanist was massacring “L’Chaim,” one of the best-loved numbers in Fiddler on the Roof. No one was singing—this was a dance rehearsal—but someone should have been, at least to cover up the noise.

On stage, four grown men were attempting the low kicks of a kazatsky dance. Their hands were on the ground for balance while they kicked outwardly with their feet. The move was harder than it looked; it took great strength and coordination.

The dancers were in their forties, and two had never danced before. They were surrounded by a group of men of varying ages (none of whom could dance) and the show’s star, Guy Stephens. He was thin and trim—which he should not have been for the role of Tevye—and he could probably do the Russian folk dance the men were attempting. But Tevye was an observer in this scene, not a participant.

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