1.6.08

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The sublime...

Yesterday I headed to NYC to SAB's annual Workshop. This time I was close enough and on the side enough to see the real mechanics of the dancing and what was going on in the wings.

I don't know where the concept of ballet for boys being sissy stuff, but my god do these kids sweat. Every time a boy spun around there was a veritable shower soaking anything within 2-3 feet! The athleticism with which they jump, lift their partners and move all over that stage... trust me, it ain't sissy stuff.

One of the neat things about MFPOW was that we got an annual invitation to see SAB students taking class. Some of those were barre classes, which were pretty much as I'd remembered from my youthful attempts to dance (my parents didn't want a lazy daughter!). The more advanced classes usually had the teacher demonstrating a complicated combination to the students. It was fascinating watching them try to remember the steps: some just stared intently, some mumbled what I'm sure were the names of the steps, some followed along with very sketched out movements, and some used their hands as "feet" as they translated the aural/visual to motion.

Why the digression? Because I saw the dancers backstage doing the hands-to-feet thing while waiting in the wings for their next entrance. They would move a few inches from side-to-side or back-to-front, all the while their hands sketching more complicated moves in front of them. Truly a case of Multiple Intelligences at work!

The ridiculous

After Workshop, Thing One and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. He'd been told that there were multiple endings, that audiences didn't know when to stand and leave or sit and watch more. This didn't surprise me, given Spielberg's problem with closure (E.T.c and AI being the most egregious examples) and with the fact that the entire Indy series is based on old-time serials, which left you with cliffhangers and unfinished plots. Watching the movie, I didn't get that "ok, it's over" sense well before it was done, but I did get the "ok, enough already" sense at around the 90 minute mark.

Harrison Ford's usual twinkle that tells us that he's not totally serious about this but is totally serious (at the same time) was lacking. The entire film seemed not just an homage to serials but to Spielberg and previous films (I *know* I've seen those aliens before!) was irritating. Every interview I've read said that there would only be a fifth film IF the script was good, IF there seemed to be a need for it, IF all the elements were in place, IF IF IF... but I got the sense that IF this makes enough money, Shia LaBoeuf will be replacing Henry Jr. and the "Mutt Jones" series will take off (and really, "Mutt"? couldn't they have left the "I'm nicknamed after a dog" thing alone?).

Overall, not the best in the series, and not the best movie I've seen recently (that'd be IronMan, and I'm so torn between wanting more of it and thinking it makes a great one-off).

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