This morning I was invited to attend rehearsals for the upcoming "60 Dances in 60 Minutes" show, which will be performed November 4th at The Registry Theatre. They didn't invite me because I'm a spectacular hoofer with hotcha feet, but because...
...well, just because. Let me explain.
I love to dance in a bar. I enjoy the "Thriller" dance just as much as the next person. I get a kick out of Ann Miller's tapping, and if I ever dust off my barely-worn tap shoes I just might decide to annoy my neighbours again.
But I don't understand "contemporary" dance. Watching a contemporary dance troupe, for me, is like watching sign language: I appreciate the craft and I understand that it has a history and a meaning and a complexity (and perhaps even a syntax), but I simply can't tell one movement from another. "Sun" might as well be "bathtub" for all I know, just as the movements of contemporary dance could be "Reaching for the tragic revelation hidden behind my lover's smile" or "Ouch, my arm!" at any given time.
I am certainly not the only person who doesn't "get" contemporary dance; lots of people find it baffling. And what's the best way to explain it to the uncomprehending majority?
Simple: send in a Mister EveryMuffy to have a look, somebody who is INTERESTED, and somebody who can EXPRESS confusion and revelation and perhaps even boredom in a widely-read (if I do say so) blog. It's even better if that EveryMuffy will do it just for the fun of it.
I know all too well that some ambitious plans don't work out. Maybe I'll find myself totally uninspired by the proceedings and unable to say anything that is interesting. Maybe, while poking around the Registry Theatre, I'll accidentally drop a sandbag on somebody -- please not artistic director Michael Trent -- and get kicked out for causing a ruckus.
But maybe not. If the stars align during the next week then you -- the curious dance outsider -- might read something of interest in this blog. And I might decide that even if I can't express complex emotions with my uncoordinated body, I might at LEAST learn how to finally do The Twist.
"... and if I ever dust off my barely-worn tap shoes I just might decide to annoy my neighbours again."
Still can't imagein a better performance opportunity than a Muffy Tribute to Ann.
Funny, in the New Yorker this morning I read a goofy piece about a new 1929 trend: wives taking tap dancing lessons. The author bemoans that every time his wife enters an echoey place (like a train station) she starts tapping manically. He also notes the interesting sound that tap-dancing wives make when they fall over.
Well, what are you waiting for. I expect you'll be good enough you won't have to worry about the falling over. The author is nuts. I'm still trying to get susie to tap for me. Some guys have all the breaks - and don't know it.
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