DANCE IN THE MEDIA THIS WEEK

Tap dancer Savion Glover made a rare TV appearance on The Colbert Report this week. When Colbert called him “The Savior of Tap,” Glover, always humble, countered that he should more properly considered a “Disciple of Tap.” If you want to know who his teachers were, get yourself a copy of the movie “Tap” (1989) starring Gregory Hines. There’s a brilliant scene of a dance battle between many of these great old-time hoofers including Jimmy Slyde and Sammy Davis, Jr. Glover absorbed everything he learned from his teachers and let his own musical world inflect the style and rhythm. He introduced a new and distinctive style of tapping for today’s young people. If you ever have a chance to see Savion Glover perform live, go directly to the box office and buy the tix. You will not be sorry.

And speaking of tap, Nigel Lithgow promises to create another tap routine for the finale of SYTYCD. That will be coming up next week when America’s favorite dancer will be crowned. I’m hoping that will be Lauren who is the only fully formed dancer on the show. But I’m willing to bet Kent will win based on his cuteness…not that he isn’t a brilliant dancer, but Lauren’s better. Since most of SYTYCD voting viewers are girls, I’m guessing they’ll vote by libido.

We also learned that the SYTYCD dancers were put through a series of tests at the Gatoraid Performance Lab to determine whether or not dancers are athletes. This isn’t the first time such comparisons were made, though maybe not with so much rigor. I promise to write a blog about this, but suffice it to say, I believe dancers can be athletic, but not athletes. I don’t want them to be athletes…I want them to be dancers. So that’s my two cents for the moment.

America’s Got Talent actually has some excellent bellydancers competing. Kaya and Sadie made it through to the 9th week before being voted off by the idiot audience and judges. At least people had a chance to see some technically proficient bellydancers.

It was Steve McQueen day on Turner Classic Movies recently and I couldn’t resist watching “ The Magnificent Seven” for the millionth time. But this time, in addition to watching all those sexy men (I’ve had crushes on at least 5 of them over time), I was struck by a festival scene in the little Mexican town they were hired to protect. This time, I had learned something about Mexican dance and actually recognized it. The ritual they were enacting was probably Pre-Columbian (Aztec, Mayan, Yaqui). In one scene we see the ancient Yaqui Deer Dance, in which a dancer mimes the actions of a hunted deer. This may have had a magical function: to express thanks to the deer for giving its life, and/or to ensure its capture. Just thot you’d like to know.

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