Starting in the mid-1970s, Acem developed a form of dance called “dreiva”. Though thought to facilitate meditative processes, it was miles away from anything that might traditionally be associated with meditative dance. Its music was disco, soul and funk, its movements often wild and highly expressive. Well, this bird isn’t exactly dancing dreiva, but it’s surprisingly close:

Another association: Lately I’ve been reading the Chinese author Mo Yan’s novel “Life and death are wearing me out”, seeing 50 years of Chinese history from the point of view of a man reincarnated as a donkey, an ox, a pig, a dog, and a monkey. Apart from the monkey, they are all described with all the subjective and emotional richness that is usually reserved for descriptions of human beings. Anybody doubt the sheer pleasure of this dancing parrot?

Which brings me into yet another association, to the over 2000 year old Daoist mystic Zhuangzi, who was walking along the Hao river with his logician friend Huizi and exclaiming admiration for the enjoyment of the fish swimming below. Huizi said, “You’re not a fish — how do you know what fish enjoy?” Zhuangzi said, “You’re not me, so how do you know I don’t know what fish enjoy?” In the end, Zhuangzi concluded simply: “I know it by standing here beside the Hao river.”

It seems obvious to me that this 22 year old bird enjoys dancing dreiva! But am I sensitive or am I just projecting my own joy onto the bird?