Friday, September 21, 2007

Around The Web

Apparently the ballet world is upset with Danny Tidwell. How dare he dance for the great unwashed! The New York Times writes about the debate and about Revolution, a dance-based show opening next week at the Joyce Theater. The cast includes our girl Allison Holker from season 2.

As “ZB1” wrote on the Ballet Talk Web site (, “I don’t want to accuse Danny of selling out, but in my view that’s essentially what he’s doing, in the name of money, exposure and popularity.”

But Mr. Tidwell said: “The ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story, we’re so past that. I have a very deep respect for art, but I also think we have a lot to learn from pop culture. And that is the future. Either you can ignore it and be stuck in the past, or you can learn from it.”


The Scranton Times-Tribune previews the tour and talks to Danny:
Although there may have been competition from the other dancers, Mr. Tidwell didn't feel any added pressure from trying to outdo his brother. Mr. Tidwell was adopted by Travis' mother, dance instructor Denise Wall, at a young age. Mr. Wall was often seen in the studio audience on competition night, cheering his brother on. "Travis did give me advice,'' he said. "He told me to just go on and do my dancing and not worry about anyone else.''

Asked if there could possibly be another Wall/Tidwell vs. Schwimmer showdown on a future season of "So You Think You Can Dance,'' Mr. Tidwell laughed: "Well, I do have five other brothers who can dance.''

This story only talks about 3 alternate dancers for the tour, leaving out Shauna Noland. I wonder if there's been a change in plans.


Newsday has more on Revolution, a mashup of dance and rock & roll:
"Revolution" is rough and rockin'. But rough, rockin', tapping and stepping all at once?

Schulster laughs. "Everybody has that reaction."

Explains Hanna, "We don't want to bring the rock down to the level of tap, but the tap up to the level of rock." He's talking volume: Schulster and he are heavily miked. He also makes the point that "tap becomes the first instrument here."

Schulster puts this rock-tap encounter in historical perspective: "Fred Astaire danced to the popular songs of his day, and this is the same thing. It's organic."


Here's even more about Revolution, from the Westport News:
"The show features eight dancers, a live rock 'n' roll band, plus video projections," he added. "Unlike most theatrical video productions, the video works as content that directly relates to and interacts with what is happening live on stage. What Revolution presents is very much like a rock concert set up."
Frank estimates that he has shot about 98 percent of the video used in Revolution. "I have directed the footage of dancers, the cast members with the band and shot them in rehearsal," he explained. "We also have two cameramen on stage who shoot the show and then we mix that in with the video. The cameramen are actually choreographed into the show."

Ok, somebody needs to send me to New York.


From The Denver Post:
Revolutionary ideas beg for suitably bracing verbiage, but the best way to grasp them is often the simplest.

"We dance. You vote."

That's the essence of Ballet Nouveau Colorado's 21st Century Choreography Competition, a YouTube-driven, "American Idol"-style contest that has the potential to make modern dance relevant to vast new audiences.

We'll be watching and reporting on that story.


The debate about celebrities and dance on TV, started last week by the Washington Post, continues. This time from a UK perspective.
Britain, of course, hasn't needed America's lead to drive its own TV coverage in the same direction. While producers can't wait to push the next series of Strictly Come Dancing on to the schedules, opportunities for the rest of the art form in mainstream television have pretty much dwindled to the occasional documentary or the annual Christmas screening of a 19th-century tutu ballet.