Spent a lovely early evening at the New York City Ballet watching wonderful short film of Jock Soto‘s life (more on that soon!), then came home to watch the art of dance be totally and completely demeaned worse than I’ve ever seen by the insulting new TV show, Dance War. I’ve never in my life seen more people with less dance training seeking to become “stars.” They sang their hearts out and wiggled their butts and seemed in all honesty to have no clue that ass wiggling did not constitute dance. Some actually tried to do jumps but didn’t understand the concept of line (amongst many many other things) and so looked like monkeys.
But I’m more horrified that judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba (from Dancing With the Stars) actually praised them. Carrie Ann said of one woman who did a single fouette then stumbled on the very second whip around, that she had “technique.” A man did a grand battement (really fast high kick — anyone can do one) and Bruno jumped around onstage orgiastically screaming “excellent extension, did everyone see that extension?!” I’m not even going to bother criticizing this assininity; suffice it to say the judges know the fraud they’re perpetrating on the public. They know.
On one hand, I seriously feel like boycotting “Dancing With the Stars” unless they resign. On the other, I guess what can you do when you have a TV show and these are the applicants? You’ve gotta pick someone or the show’s off the air. And you can’t call everyone a bad dancer. So you shrug your shoulders and say, as Carrie Ann did, “Well, it’s easier to teach someone who can sing to dance than someone who can dance to sing.” Could anything be more of a smack in the face to a person who deeply respects dance?
And yet I’m very conflicted. I just can’t understand why people would try out for a show that necessitated the ability to dance when it’s obvious they’ve never had a single dance lesson in their lives. But I also don’t want to sound like the horrendously elitist critics and ballet dancers and afficionados I abhor who insist that in order to be a “real” dancer, one must have “proper training,” which, to them, just happens to include a very expensive education affordable only by the very rich, who are, in our lovely society, usually the very white. A friend and I were talking the other day about how wealthy many of the New York City Ballet dancers are (NOT the aforesaid Jock Soto, by the way).
So, I say, the only way out of this dilemma is to “buy” Cuban! There dance is highly respected as an art form, it is taught by some of the world’s greatest, and it’s also completely free. And free doesn’t exactly produce shoddy. And, if you don’t believe me, take Danny Tidwell’s word More Jose’s, more, more!
Okay, it’s late and I’m tired and being a bit goofy all because I got so worked up I got over a stupid dance show… But, seriously, everyone please just watch this! Why oh why isn’t there more dance like it on TV?…