Friday, July 10, 2009

Taken Today: Dancing

After Ballet Class, Berkeley, July 2009.

My daughter is on her sixth or seventh year of taking ballet classes. She's getting stronger, more limber, and beginning to distinguish her Fosses from her Balanchines. But her real idols are the modern dance choreographers of her generation: Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Sonya Tayeh, Shane Sparks, Tice DiOrio, Adam Shankman, Mandy Moore; in short, the choreographers of the inspiring reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. Better known to its fans as SYTYCD, the show has taken dance out of its elitist and airless space and into the living rooms of the public-at-large, alive, kicking, and a joy to behold. SYTYCD has shown everyone what dance enthusiasts have known all along -- that dance is hard work and, when done well, is an exuberant celebration of what the human body can do.

Here's a sample of the boundless ingenuity of its choreographers, a Latin-hiphop hybrid set in a Cuban bordello, danced to the music of Cuban-American rapper Pitbull, choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon and Dmitry Chaplin. (For Jorge, who missed this number when it was first braodcast.)

So You Think You Can Dance - Calle Ocho

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