Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

Xmas follies 2017: the shirtless men of the season

December 17, 2017

Another crowded seasonal category — I’ve already been through music, decorations, clothing, and food — in which there seems to be no end of entertaining folly.  In this case, no end of shirtless men in Santa or elf costumes (down to a cap and nothing else).

On color coding: a red Santa cap can be worn by Santas or elves, while green or green+red indicates an elf.


Two musical flash mobs

October 2, 2017

Some weeks ago YouTube brought me a delightful video of a flash mob performance of Ravel’s “Boléro” (in a town square in Toluca, Mexico). About the same time, my Enhance Fitness class (aimed especially at older and disabled participants) at the Palo Alto YMCA conceived of the idea of converting one of our regular exercise routines — done to the original Billy Ray Cyrus recording of “Achy Breaky Heart” — into a flash mob performance in the lobby of the Y (all this achieved at 5 p.m. on Wednesday September 20th).

Both musical flash mobs were “cumulative” — starting with just a few participants, with more and more added in stages until there was a true mob. Especially effective for the Ravel, which starts with a snare drum ostinato to which a flute is added, and then further instruments, a few at a time, as the piece builds to a crashingly loud finale.


All the /do/s

August 10, 2017

(#1) Homer Simpson ejaculates

From the American tv show Psych, S2 E12 “The Old and the Restless” (2008):

Shawn Spencer: Can you check for a John Doe, please?
[Desk clerk nods, turns to her computer]
Shawn Spencer: Actually, can you check all the Does? Tae Kwon, Cookie, Play, Do-Si…

An extended play on the syllable /do/ in English.


Cover me, slowly

July 28, 2017

If you think you can escape the Summer Song of 2017 — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (pop crossed with rap) — you’re probably mistaken. Yes, you can do the obvious: avoid Puerto Rico and Latino-heavy sections of the US, stay away from Mexican, Salvadoran, Cuban, etc. restaurants, all that sort of thing. But you could flee far away, to the Balkans, to Ireland, to Southeast Asia, to Hungary, and it will be in vain: the song will haunt you, in instrumental versions on piano, cello, violin, bamboo flute, oud, you name it; with words in French, Chinese, Gaelic, Croatian, Malay, whatever; performed by one man, one woman, two men, a man and a woman, on up to crowd-sized choruses; as heavy metal, as Romantic-style classical music, as jazz, and so on; as a sweet and softly romantic song, as hard-driving bump-and-grind music, as an enthusiastic anthem, or as flat-out parody; with fresh choreography in almost any dance style imaginable.

I didn’t appreciate the scope of the phenomenon until Kim Darnell sent me a video of Peter Bence (a 25-year-old Hungarian pianist and composer) doing a jazz-inflected piano version (channeling Keith Jarrett), and watching that led me to all this other stuff.


Getting the comic

July 3, 2017

Yesterday, from Chris Hansen, this cartoon by Daniel Beyer:


Chris’s comment:

It took me a minute to “get” it (I’ve been in England for a looooong time)

(Chris is an American long resident in England.)

Another exercise in understanding comics. In this case, requiring a crucial piece of knowledge about American popular culture.


He’s dancing with a laser up his butt

March 3, 2017

(The title above and #1 below should clue you in on whether this posting is for you.)

Today’s remarkable find: a piece on the thump site on the 1st, “This Dance Troupe Performs with Lasers in Their Butts” by Ali Gitlow:


Young Boy Dancing Group at “The Curves of the World”, curated by Mette Woller, Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen, 2016 (photo by David Stjernholm)


More on the gay Santa watch

December 16, 2016

Three follow-ups to this morning’s gay Santa posting: earlier gay Santa postings on this blog; a 2013 Christmas bonus, with outrageous black gay Santas in an Alabama Christmas parade; and a link to a couple more Harry Bush cartoons / illustrations.


Annals of musical instruments: improvised instruments

November 3, 2016

Probably since the beginning of time, people have made music using materials at hand: improvising percussion instruments, devices to modify or amplify the human voice, ways to create sound by blowing on pipes or making fibers vibrate. Here, two examples that have come past me recently: the ugly stick and the comb kazoo.


tail in the air

October 25, 2016

(Some vernacular sex talk along the way, so some judgment might be called for.)

It started with Dave Hause on ADS-L reporting this item from the seekingalpha site  (with the crucial bit boldfaced below):

The next wave of media consolidation will surely be on investors’ minds today following AT&T’s weekend agreement to buy Time Warner. Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), Viacom (VIA, VIAB), and CBS already had their tails in the air on Friday afternoon as merger talk between AT&T and Time Warner heated up.

Hause reflected:

I may be off but I would interpret “tails in the air” as cat body language, “sexually receptive.” Maybe less suggestively as “seeking a dominant partner.”

There are actually two figurative interpretations here: one alluding to cat body language (in which an upraised tail communicates contentment and confidence) and one alluding to sexual receptivity signals in mammals (in which females raise their tails — and, often, back up to males — to communicate readiness for coitus).

Meanwhile, figurative (both metaphorical and metonymic) senses of tail — ‘penis’, ‘vagina’, ‘buttocks’, ‘anus’ — impinge on both of these figurative uses of raise (one’s) tail and similar idiomatic expressions, like put/have (one’s) tail (up) in the air.


More male dancers flying in mid-air

June 11, 2016

(Mostly about dance and male bodies.)

Passed through several Facebook sites, most immediately Michael Palmer’s, this fabulous photo of four dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, captured flying in mid-air:


Other male dancers flying in mid-air were featured in my 1/10/16 posting “Dance Time”. All of these photos are tributes to the skill of the dancers, the choreographer, and the photographer, who undoubtedly had to have the dancers run through their performances many times to get these remarkable shots.