Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Busy Busy

So now that the season is basically over, its vacation time, yes?


Now is the time where we need to raise money to make up for those optimistic ticket projections (so send in those donations).
Now is the time to get the funding in place for next year's season (so send in those donations)
Now is the time where we are getting our collaborative summer program in place.

But we haven't really finished, we have an independent choreographer's concert coming up on the 5th & 6th of May.

Another of my graphic art creations. At this point, I am not choreographing anything for this evening, but one never knows. I may have to whip up a quick something if the dancers already involved need some breathing space.

I haven't seen what the choreographers have done, so unless I drop in on rehearsals, it will be a big surprise to me.

I also have to design the invitations for our upcoming fundraiser on June 2. I am saying that I will do that tonight, so it will force me to do so.

That being the case, I will sign off, but not before...

a new feature of my blog.

My brother (older) always used to torment me by using different variations of my name. Actually, no one in the family has ever called me Javier. I have an established nickname... which may or may not be divulged.

Anyway, at one point during our high school years, my brother settled on Harvey as a variant of Javier. Since I had always had a soft spot for the Jimmy Stewart movie about the big invisible bunny, I didn't mind. It was after all preferable to some of the things he came up with. So as he had children, they all grew up calling me... Uncle Harvey.

So I'll use this place in my blog to mention some movies or artwork that mean something to me artistically or as the Quakers used to say, "speaks to my condition."

First up.

Shall We Dance, but not the Jennifer Lopez version. The original Japanese version. If you have ever experienced any sort of "love" for dance, you MUST see this movie. But this isn't a Wham-Bam movie. You really need to be willing to spend sometime getting to know some wonderful characters in a foriegn culture. But its more than worth it.

Koji Yakusho is amazing as Mr. Sugiyama, a businessman who is having a mid-life crisis. All his life he has done what is expected of him. So one night, he gives into an urge, He goes and signs up for ballroom dance lessons. Which is taboo in Japan. But Yakusho is brilliant in the movie. Like all of the characters in this movie, he blossoms as it goes on.

Tamiyo Kusakari plays a ballroom dancer at the crossroads of her career. One of the highlights of the movie is a scene which shows her dancing alone in a studio as she is reciting a letter of thanks to the above mentioned Mr. Sugiyama. She has the MOST beautiful arms as she glides across the floor. A hallmark of Japanese society (which plays an important part in the movie) is that it is bad taste to display emotions. But all of these characters show (through dance) the beauty of allowing those emotions to come out.

No comment. You just need to see this performance to believe it.

Like the movie, Strictly Ballroom, this movie deals with the world of competitive ballroom dance. But even though it has a sympathetic couple, Strictly Ballroom is an ultimately caustic view of the world. Shall We Dance is like a dream.

And of all of the characters in the movie, none is more wonderful than Reiko Kusamura as an older dance instructor. Whenever she opens her mouth, everything is right in the world. Imagine one of those all-knowing wise men in hero stories, but in silver heels.

So watch the movie and then put on some nice old song and dance.
Or better yet, find someone to dance with!

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