Kenneth Bartmess Pioneering Modern Dancer Seeking THR
Currently 83 years of age, Kenneth sent this note to dancerhips.com. He will continue to post to DancerHips.com as his case proceeds. -NR
Kenneth with Carmen De Lavallade in Lester Horton's "Danzon Cubano" (1950)
"Sheer joy to dance and a dream to dance with".
photo by Constantine.
In my dance years I performed with Lester Horton's Dance Theater, Bella Lewitsky, Carmen De Lavallade, Jack Cole, Ogla Lunick, the Jose Limon Company, and studied with every modern dance teacher I could find.
All that was over in 1960, but in recent years I have been practicing T'ai Chi through my healthcare program at the Veterans Administration, until the hip pain stopped that and my primary doctor referred me to the Orthopedic Clinic as a possible candidate for hip replacement. I am not going into this possibility with the body of a young athlete (or even an old one), however I thought you might find it interesting that a man with my profile could still hold "dancer" as a big part of his ID. Guess that never leaves. It has enriched so much of my life.
Attached is a 2002 pic with my T'ai Chi teachers
(Pictured left to right are Lori Matsumura (OT), Ken, Peter Asco - T'ai Chi Master).
That is one of my goals. I hope that I am not being unrealistic. I have put together a combination of the upper body moves that I do seated daily. At least it gives me that lovely feeling of flow, of sculpting space.
My first Ortho Consult is four days away (7/9/09). I must start to prepare myself for the big let down of not learning very much right away. That meeting will really be more of a door-opener than a bunch of answers. They will set up some tests and there will be more waiting. I wish I could expect more than that. Meanwhile, Occupational Therapy has provided an invaluable rollator and some daily living tools to help dressing. Who would think that getting a sock on could ever be a problem?
Talking about "Modern Dance Pioneers", when I was in the Limón Co., Doris Humphrey was the artistic director. Sadly, she was terribly crippled by arthritis, but still directed from a chair. We never knew the pain she must have been in. There were no hip replacements in '57! I think of her a lot these days.
Submitted July 5, 2009
9 July '09 First Orthopedic Clinic consult.
Well, at least I got my foot in the door. Otherwise it was pretty cut and dried. A young doctor showed me the X-rays, the rt. hip joint deterioration was obvious, he asked how it effected my daily life, I gave him the short list, he stated the risks to one my age and with my cardiac history (valve replacement 5 years ago), and the interview was over. There was a little more to it than that, but it seemed like the fact that I was there was a "go-ahead". One step at a time. The next step is to get clearance from Cardiology and the Dental Clinic. That will take another month at best. Then come back for the Next Step. The wheels turn slowly; I hope mine hold up.
To be continued...