Can You Dance Summer

Can You Dance Summer

I was excited to see So You Think You Can Dance make a comeback & also that the show had revamped some of the old format that was becoming sort of predictable & stale. It did bring back host Cat Deeley with new judges: Stephen (tWitch) Boss, JoJo Siwa & Leah Remini. tWitch, a past alumni of the show along with Cat are links to the old days of the show. 

To be honest I underwhelmed by the new format, the current competitors, the new judges & the voting system. No longer is it America’s Favourite Dancer but the studio audience at the taping’s choice. Easier to comply votes from, what is it – 500 people? Than from all of the USA. Only one of the competitors has charisma – the Patrick Swayze clone.

Often the most dramatic thing on stage is Cat Deeley’s outfits – who dresses her in the dark? Some are laugh-out-loud messes & others are merely dismaying. The judges aren’t much better. Leah often needing safety pins to keep her cleavage from upstaging the dancers. JoJo, suffering from hideous costumes, often mistakes shouting for energy. Boss hold his own nicely between the two women but at times even he seems puzzled by what his fellow judges are wearing.

As for the dancing – none of the pieces or dancers seem to take joy in the act of dancing deep emotional storylines or jumpy hop-hop fidgeting. The Broadway & jazz routines were flat & forced – but trying to squeeze something into a 2 minute routine doesn’t really give time for anything to develop beyond an emotional pop. 

P.S. More AfroJazz & please bring back breakdancing. 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

And The #Winner Is

Another season of SYTYCD crowns this year’s favourite dancer – the judges stress there are no losers, how proud they are of each of the dancers etc etc etc but I wouldn’t want to be the grief counsellor for the the top three who don’t get crowned. It’s always a matter of personality in the long run but talent sure can help & the top four had lots of both. The winner Kida was no exception but he didn’t amazed me until his AfroJazz routine to Din Din Da Da. 13-pinkhat-01The judges favourite routines came as no surprise. For me they begin to blur into those momentary isolation locks, or hands reaching out for some distant ideal, or eyes peering at that same ideal, or a small fry being tossed round by their partner like a feathered boa. The competitors all delivered in any genre they were challenged with even when they didn’t quite get the finer points of say, ballroom technique. 13-blackmonkey-03As usual Can Dance introduces me to lots of fine music. Shawn McDonald’s Over the Rainbow reinvented that song, as did Sarah Vaughn’s take on Send In The Clown; DaDaDa was reinvigorated by Kevin Aviance’s take on it; Son Lux ‘You Don’t Own Me’ wow. I’m surprised there isn’t an annual compilation cd of the music or at least an iTunes site devoted just to the music so one doesn’t have to search for it after putting the show on pause just to write down the name of the song & the performer.13-blackshoe-03I enjoyed many things about this season. The next generation was a smart idea to refresh the show and I hope they got the audience numbers for another season. I love seeing the all-stars; Can Dance, the the Food Network, gives its past contestants lots of work even if they lose their particular season. I really like the episode where the kids did the choreography.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I did get tired of the same judges every week. I suppose that was financial decision. But I missed Mary Murphy (none of these kids could be put on the tamale train I suppose). Toni Basil was probably too old school scary for this next generation. Reinventing the show can’t be easy. What next – the Geritol Generation?

sampleDancing and Necking

Lorna and I

moved around each other

to the push-n-shove of rock-n-roll

she was 14 and I was 15

that we were awkward didn’t matter

we were happy

as long as there was distance between us

at the first waltz we sat in the bleachers

after it was over

she pulled me into the dance

where we made windmills to the music

 

the boys not dancing

feigned a disdain of everything

they claimed to want to get some chick

outside into their Dad’s cars

Lorna and I laughed at them

as we caught our breath between songs

when another waltz came up

she pulled me tight to her

she smelled of roses

put her head on my shoulder

just like a song

I could feel her heartbeat

as we turned in small circles

her breasts pressed into me

my hand moved along her warm back

felt her bra strap

the mystery of undergarments

her head moved into my damp neck

I was startled when she licked my ear

 

I turned my face to hers

before I knew it we were kissing

turning in small circles

her tongue in my mouth

mine dizzy in hers

and I sighed

finally doing something

to prove that I was as much a guy

as those boys

who would never take

me out to their Dads’ carssoon

14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 7:30 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.hotoct

https://www.facebook.com/events/1047981975249926/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrredpiano

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

#SYTYCD 16.2

Can Dance is well into the New Generation season & I have been impressed by the level of commitment of these young dancers – some with amazing technique & emotional expressiveness. It didn’t take them long to learn the classic contemporary gesture – the hand reaching out to the distance while the eyes search for – Toy R’Us? After all these are under 15-year-olds – they can’t be searching for spiritual fulfillment, yet.05box01I’ve been happy to see that the children weren’t being used as props but as equal partners. The choreographers clearly have scaled things a little to encompass the limited knowledge & experience they have to work with. Seeing these kids tackle Fossy was sublime & they pulled it off. That a 10-year is unsure of his cha-cha isn’t unreasonable.05box02There is still a bit too much of ‘kids say the darnedest things’ in the interview sections. I don’t envy the judges – that an eleven-year-old’s jive kick wasn’t as sharp as it could be isn’t surprising – but they are treating the dancers like adults. The ballroom pieces remain problematic for me – the contestants look more like Toddlers In Tiara’s overdressed & sexualized than young girls. In fact all the girls look like young women, while the boys always look like young boys.05box03Ultimately the show sells personality with a healthy dose of talent. So far the contestants eliminated have failed to connect with the public – i.e. not enough personality. The recent double-elimination was done so swiftly I can’t tell who was sent packing, which is a sing of how little they registered as personalities. I just hope they have some serious grief support as the two who were eliminated were stunned & did’t even seem to understand what had happened before the giantess came over to hug them goodbye.05box04For me front-runners are: the youngest JT with surprising technical ability and great screen presence – his contemporary routines have been emotionally resonant; also the tapper Emma – the Salute number was fierce & entertaining.

samp03

Selective Honesty

he asks a leading question

the one to find out

if I’m in to him

if I find him sexually desirable

I don’t want to lead him on

but I also don’t want a discussion

about why I don’t find him sexually desirable

because we have met face to face

we have gotten naked for a play date

but there was no chemistry

I don’t really care if I see him again

I don’t want to be friends

I have enough of those already

that I don’t have time to hang out with

 

I sense that if I say yes to friends

he’ll always have that ‘naked again’ hope

he’ll got pissed at me

for leading him on

because we are socially comfortable

on opposite sides of a table

in a coffee shop

how honest do I need to be

to not come across as cold

indifferent

 

he asks that leading question

which isn’t going to lead

to where he hopes

because even through

there was no sexual chemistry

we both enjoyed it

but for me

enjoyment isn’t enoughsoon02

 

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

et

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrbox02

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

#SYTYCD

One of my favourite summer shows has returned greatly changed. So You Think You Can Dance – in which dancers compete to be America’s favourite dancer – favourite as opposed to best – not that the winners haven’t been stunningly versatile dancers. Each year they try a changed approach to keep things like judging fresh, take the auditions to different cities. But after 12 seasons its getting a little hard to mix things – so this year its The Next Generation.’24ochair01Ratings have declined over the years & this is an attempt to revive the series. Producer Nigel Lythgoe returns as a judge – this year his work will be truly cut out for him as the contestants are between 8 -13 – his challenge will be to restrain his lip-licking drooling over nubile female contestants.24ochair02One of things I like about the show, besides the breathtaking talent that competes, is the producers use of past winners as judges, choreographers & even partners for the latest group of dancers. I must confess also enjoyed the amazing bodies of the male dancers.

Over the years the sexualization of the dancers has often been exploitative – as if they were looking for America’s favourite erotic/pole dancer. Kudos were frequently given for females garbed as hookers, vamps or pin-up cuties. Shirtless was always an assured way of a male dancer to get those all important phone in votes.24ochair03The show began, for me, to depend too much on backstory – the more tragic the better – I would have rather seen more dancing & less melodrama. This held true for the auditions as well – let’s see more of what didn’t make the cut.24ochair04What better way to revive ratings than a feast of child exploitation with a seasoning of stage parent. I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into Toddlers & Tiaras as the season progresses. Already it’s a ‘kids can say the darnest thing’ competition. I am looking forward to seeing 10 past champions return as each mentor’s one of the dancers. These children will learn more about the dance world from the champs than they did in any dance class.

sample

Dedication

this book is dedicated to

my editor Ruthie Daniels whose suggestions

guided me each step of the way

my copy editor Justin Taylor who found mistakes

I didn’t think anyone could make

my friend Allie French who suggested

the plot for me

Gus Koholajak the bartender at F.U.Up

for the names of my lead characters

Broken Wrists: my writers group for helping

guide the plot to keep it moving

my friend Kaleb McLean who transcribed

my written notes and also put them in order

my next door neighbour Diane Simms

who transcribed my voice capture dictations

and fitted them into Kaleb’s sequence

the comedy improv class that helped me

discover dialogue for the crucial scenes

David Jeffers who did the legal research for me

Deborah Clarke who provided

much of the medical information

of course I can’t neglect my partner Stan Kidjo

who cooked cleaned and encouraged

when I felt people weren’t getting back to me

fast enough

finally you my readers

because I wrote every word

of this book just for you

soon02

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

6DC0301

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrblue

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

#SYTYCD

The new season of So You Think You Can Dance? is well under way. To say I’m disappointed is putting it mildly – not in the dancers but in the apparent format change to ‘shake things up,’ which merely allows dancers to say in their comfort zones without shaking anything up. Which was a bit of a ruse as the second show of the season revealed by tossing dancers randomly into all genres.

couch01

high kicked to the curb

One of the things that makes the compelling is seeing how genre busting many of the dancers are when push out of those comfort zones. Poppers who mastered Viennese Waltzes, modern ballerinas who could crump with the best of them – now that was amazing stuff. But a face off between street & stage is more the public deciding which dance style is more popular not which dancer is best liked.

The audition shows didn’t show enough dancers. Too much backstory & not enough performances. I quickly could tell those backstories before they were told – mother/father/grandmother dying/dead of cancer; overcoming street gangs/drugs/injury. Where are the greedy guts who want to win for the sheer glory of winning? It’s as if its shameful to want to be the best for the sake of being the best.

couch02

not much kick ball change here

I’ve also found over the years that sexism runs rampant on the show – there are far too many routines that rely on the female dancers to be in semi-bondage, stripper wear to tell the story – temptresses. The males on the other hand almost get shamed for baring themselves too much. When two guys did a number in the sort of costumes the women get put in one of the judges said ‘we’ll have to talk to costume so this doesn’t happen again.’ One thing about Can Dance I admire is that they do bring back the most talented of the past competitors, sometimes as judges, choreographers or to dance with the current season’s finalists. I’m also enjoying the move to more group pieces this season.

couch03

pas de bureau

I also have to admit that I cannot, off the top of my head, name a past winner. I can recall faces, abs but names are gone. Twitch (who was a runner up) has stuck because of his stage name & his amazing dancing – his real name? Ditto for past winner Fik-Shun. A glance at the Wiki list gives all the names, but frankly who cares.

The sides have been picked & the first eliminations have happened. The judges have their say on technique but I seriously doubt if the viewing public cares as much about grande jetes as they do about washboard abs. To be honest I’m much the same way – it’s personality that leads to the big win on this show and for my $ the street team has all the personality. At this point that $ is on Virgil, though this could be the season a female street dancer finally wins.

samples

Angel Spoons

Angel spoons

tap the soles of my feet

the spoons have stirred coffee

warm   sweet

sugar flows up through me

sings a little song

under every word I speak

gives them a little tingle

of the dance of the clouds

of the java of hava a good day

hava a good time

 

become a friend of mine

we can dance together

as angel spoons play

the way we see the world

the still  the twirled

the rapid  the desired

the quick of fire

sleek of the stream cup

the liquorice tango tangle

that wraps us black  red

on  off the bed

the zig zag zip that locks us

a cascading tinkle of spoons

on the roof of our mouths

dangles off the eaves of the night

trapping   romancing

the streetlight

the ginger cat fragrance

of fresh brewed mood

the moon reflects so small

off the jangling movements

of golden toe nails

 

angel spoons echo

through the time left

to get from the night to the day

they giggle with play

insinuate into the silence

with a small silver chime

 

I hear that faint near jingle

reflect darting glints

over the faces of dancers

suspended inches above ground

swirling twirling shirts shirts

fleshy fragrant

breathing revolving

the happy tappy grace

angel spoons nudge us in circles

like coffee

warm sweet

wishing the well to one and all

sprawling calling

recalling the tickle in the blood

that means prayers have been answered

our soaring spirits aren’t sore footed

from glancing off the sun

to bridge the gap between

the tinkle and the ear

the click strum of spoons

on the palm

carries a message

drapes us back into the endless fold

where we can enjoy

angel spoons

tapping on the soles of our feet

soon02

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

noiroc

https://www.facebook.com/events/668001953300594/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nano02

http://nanowrimo.org/

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

spoon

I’m no angel