Tag Archives: dance

5 reasons to take the subway

subwayFirst-time visitors to New York City may be hesitant to take the subway.

I was you once; I spent too much money on taxis and wore myself out walking dozens upon dozens of city blocks.

But trust me —

The subway is the best way to get around town.

Here are 5 reasons to give the MTA a chance the next time you are in town.

  1. Speed — The subway is usually the fastest way between Point A and Point B.  There’s no traffic to contend with, and you have express train options when you have longer trips or are traveling from borough to borough.
  2. Cost — Currently $2.75 a ride, the subway is cheaper than any taxi ride. And while walking is free, you have to think about the cost of your time, and the wear-and-tear on your body. Most of my friends leave NYC broken-down and exhausted from the unaccustomed amount of walking they do…and it was supposed to be vacation.
  3. Comfort  — Except at morning and evening rush, the subway has room to breathe and seats for most travelers. I have claustrophobia, and I use the subway without any problem.
  4. People Watching  — Everyone takes the subway in New York City, from celebrities to crazies on the street…so you will see everything. It is a slice of humanity like no other. You’ll return home with story upon story.
  5. Performances — Like this one:

I mean, come on — take a chance and take a ride!

Dance with me

It’s happened again.

I’ve found another ballet-centric book to obsess about.

image

Astonish Me was recently reviewed in Entertainment Weekly. As soon as I read the premise, I put a hold on it at the library.

While I was waiting,  I read Maggie Shipstead’s debut novel, Seating Arrangements,  which was a best seller and won several awards.

It tells the story of a wedding weekend and two sisters who were trying to find their happy ever after.

I recommend it…and I have a feeling I will this new one, too.

Then maybe a trip to Lincoln Center?

Baby boy dance party

I loved the musical sketch “Boy Dance Party” when it aired on Saturday Night Live way back in October.  Bruce Willis and all the guys dancing around the living room while the girls were away?

Instant classic.

If possible, it has been made even better with the addition of a very enthusiastic toddler.

baby body dance party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His parents won’t let people embed the video, but you can still enjoy it on Youtube.

(I like the kid way better than them.)

Wayne’s World

I did a spit take this morning — not on purpose, you understand.

It was Wayne’s fault.

I was working in the living room and Let’s Make a Deal was on TV.
lets_make_a_deal

That show be crazy.

If you haven’t watched Deal since the Monty Hall days, there are still bad costumes, big boxes, curtains, envelopes of cash and ZONKS.  But Brady and his crew have given it a touch of improv that gives you the sense it could all go off the rails — and sometimes does — at a moment’s notice.

They sing.  They dance.  They do sketches, often using the audience members as part of the fun.  I like having the TV on while I’m working for the background noise, but I gotta admit —

Wayne sometimes steals focus.

Keep calm and don’t carry on

I’m watching the Tony Awards, hosted by the phenomenal Neil Patrick Harris, and as always I am blown away by his ability to do it all. Sing. Dance. Tell a joke. Perform magic. And, most importantly…

Have a sense of humor about it all.

But once the Tony winners start taking the stage, that goes right out the window.

judith lightTake the lovely Judith Light, who won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

She graciously thanked everyone in the American Theatre Wing, the voters, her cast and crew, the box office workers, her family, her manager and agent, etc, etc.

And then she started talking to the theatre community.  Got all hyper-earnest and intense.  You could see sweat start to glisten on her upper lip, and veins pop out on her forehead.

And I just wanted to say, “Judith, chill.  Let’s get some perspective here.”

I mean, I had a letter to Sports Illustrated published in the mailbag of the June 10th issue, and you don’t see me standing on a street corner making speeches about it.

(Maybe tomorrow.)

Jump the snark

I finally saw Bring It On the Musical tonight.

I’ve been waiting for over three years to see it…perhaps that’s why I was a little disappointed.
bring it on the musical

No, it was more than that.

The musical is merely inspired by the cult-classic film.  It borrows characters and story lines from the sequel, eliminates favorites and creates still more.

The school uniforms help if you get confused.

The musical also has a completely different tone.  It is very light on comedy.  Gone is the snark that made the original film so much fun to watch.  And somebody in the writers room loves earnest ballads.  I found myself groaning when yet another heartfelt musical number interrupted the dialogue.

But once they got into the heart of the competition, Bring It On really entertains.  If you like watching cheerleading competitions on ESPN, these are just as intense and high-flying…

Plus everyone is singing their lungs out!

Taxi talk

Cause or effect?

Do I tend to get chatty cab drivers…or make cab drivers more chatty?

Regardless, my conversation with George — who drove me to the train station today in Paoli, Pennsylvania — now puts me at two degrees of separation from Beyonce herself.

Put a ring on that.

George’s nephew is one of Beyonce’s dancers..and is currently featured on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition. Abby is the Abby Lee of Dance Moms fame. I’ve seen one episode of Ultimate, but of course didn’t realize I was gazing upon George’s nephew.

George himself is a DJ: he says the entire family is musical. And everyone is mighty proud of their boy for his work with Beyonce…as they should be.

Regardless of the reason, I’m glad George got chatty with me.  What a fun story!

Follow the crowd

If you were looking for me today, you just had to follow the line.

It stretched all the way from Stoopher & Boots at 79th and Amsterdam, around the corner, and back to Columbus.

I was at the end of that line, but all the kids and moms and dads weren’t waiting to see me.

Dance Moms was in the house.

Mom Melissa and dancer daughters Maddie and Mackenzie made an appearance to help raise money for the Starlight Foundation.  For over eight hours, they signed autographs, took pictures and chatted with adoring — sometimes crying, they were so excited – fans.

I was helping out in the store, but — full disclosure — I watch Dance Moms, too.  And I thoroughly enjoyed having a front row seat for all the excitement.

Wonder if they are as tired as I am?

Dance, dance baby

I love a good documentary on a Saturday morning.

And First Position, which is currently in theatres and available OnDemand, is great.

The feature film documents the journey of six young ballet dancers as they attempt to qualify and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, the most prestigious youth ballet competition in the world. 

This contest isn’t just about trophies or medals; it’s serious business.  The winning dancers receive full scholarships to top ballet schools and contracts to the most prestigious ballet companies in the world — jobs that are few and far between.

The filmmakers have amazing access to the dancers at home, in the rehearsal studio, and in the wings before, during and after their competition performances.  It’s pretty incredible…and no small wonder the documentary was named the audience choice’s first runner up for Best Documentary at the Toronto Film Festival where it premiered.

See?  Told you it was great.

Kaboom

Tonight, “Dancing with the Stars” crowns its Season 10 champion.

Having loaded the field with an Olympic figure skater and a professional dancer, the ending seemed almost a foregone conclusion.  But after a season of high ratings and critical acclaim, the producers and judges suddenly got an enormous attack of conscience…and at last night’s finals, attempted to balance the scales.

Erin Andrews, the ESPN reporter, is the only true non-dancer left in the competition.  She has steadily improved over the season and deserves to be in the final three.  But in the two dances she performed last night with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the judges were overly effusive in their praise and votes.  The pair ended up tied for first place for the first time this season.

Nicole and Derek and Evan and Anna, in contrast, were more harshly judged for both of their dances.  Evan and Anna were especially criticized for their free dance (following a package that showed the two fighting and crying — nice setup).

But as we’ve seen on the lesser “American Idol,” audiences don’t like it when they see their favorites treated unfairly by cranky judges.  My guess is Evan and Anna may actually benefit from their last-place finish with a ground swell of viewer support.

Who knows?  Nicole’s predestined win may have just experienced a slight hiccup.

Can you say backfire?