Monday, April 28, 2014

Seacrest and Boston

Good times on Friday. The Upper Cape made a nice showing at the Seacrest, tripling the turn out. The Boston people perhaps save themselves for the workshops and the Saturday dance. The ones who were there were good dancers and very friendly. Thanks for the dance, Jose! Good DJ, Glenn Warren, had many of the same favorite tunes that I use.
Unfortunately, for Saturday night, Joe and I went to keep his mother company in the hospital - her second broken hip! She was calmer this time. Last year it was like the END, but now she knows there is life on the other side of the fairly short mending process. At 96 years old, she does very well.
The doctor doing evaluation for surgery asked for president's name. "Well," she said, "it should have been Hilary!" It took her a couple of minutes to pull Obama's name out.

Friday, April 25, 2014

TWOP equaled Television Without Pity

Alas, the website is providing no new reviews.
I am sorry not to be able to check in on what somebody else thinks about Dancing with the Stars, in depth.
The reviewer used to add a layer. I'd read her stuff and wonder if Derek is as conceited as she thought and if Tony was actually mean. I counted on her to read the blogs and the buzz, stuff I am too lazy to search out plow through. No one I talk to keeps track of the members of the troupe - dancers who are always being replaced, dancers that look right at the camera, hoping to be noticed. I wanted to see if she thought Mark has mellowed, perhaps since Julianne as guest judge called him on his tendency to outdance his partner.
Anyway, I have watched every show. Haven't voted. Goodbye hockey goalie, aging swimmer, and boy idol. I wondered why they cut two stars one week and then Billy Dee Williams admitted he needed a hip replacement and then the next week they still didn't do a cut.
Drew Carey just left after looking uncomfortable for weeks on end. Halfway point now.
Amy Purdy, the Olympic snowboard gal with no feet - meningitis - called herself a dancer this week after weeping at the loss of her ankles when she had to do the Waltz.
Charlie was stupendous in the beginning. Now he is being outstripped by his Olympic partner, Meryl.
Maks seems to respond well to Meryl's pep talks. She has to have a good partnering skills. He has been mentioning how he has Never Won a mirror ball trophy a lot of times.
Tony and NeNe are quite the pair, fighting one week, doing better than ever the next.
Mark and Candace work hard.  She is a bit dull, but he at least let his hair grow back. The tatoos are edgy enough.
Val and Danica are another pair. She is sweet and hardworking, if no longer star material. I liked her face as a girl. Now it just looks odd, and it's not even plastic surgery.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


So my HMO gave me some choices of podiatrists not in Falmouth, and my doctor said Dr. Kahlil in Sandwich is very good. I've had some pain some months ago and some cramping lately in my left metatarsal and toes. He was quite good, clear spoken and said I need to stretch more! OK!
I had to wait over a half hour. Then I expected to pay $30, but it was a $50 copay, which is what Dr Whitney charges, and he's in Falmouth, so he gets my business from now on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dancing in the Streets, sociology book

Barbara Ehrenreich's ideas about group bonding struck a chord. She quotes dozens of articles: psychology, sociology, paleontology, etc.
Robin Dunbar, speaking about prehistoric man, suggests 150 is an optimal size for a group, seeing language as subservient to danced rituals. I like that number, too.
Entrainment comes in, synchronizing and reciporcating, according to Marcel Kinsbourne, "Marching, chanting, dancing - may trigger a primitive sense of irrational and beguiling belonging and a shared mindset." Forming groups was key to primitive man's success.
A neuroscientist (no name) calls dance "the biotechnology of group formation."
A psychologist, Osterreich, says, "Dancing is contagious; humans experience strong desires to synchronize theri own bodies' motions with those of others. The stimuli, which can be auditory or visual or derived from an internal sense of one's own muscular response to the rhythm can drive cortical rhythms and eventually produce an intensely pleasurable ineffable experience in humans." A bit wordy.

Then a chapter about dance as a way of choosing a sexual partner. Not a new idea.
As religions formed, the god of ecstasy, Dionysus, had female worshippers who went into frenzies. Yahweh's followers were constantly being exhorted to leave Baal behind.
Finally, she visits Brazil and observes a samba school, over 150 people, practicing for carnaval.  Bystanders joined in for a momentary festival. " No embarassment, no alcohol, no 'point', no religion, no message, no money. The chance to acknowledge the miracle of out simultaneous existence with some sort of celebration."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter 2014

After many years, an egg dying day!
We give Sloane and Ian's parents the weekend off, just in time for me to blow some white eggs out and buy a golden egg dying kit, new in the last twenty years, containing titanium. (Time out for a check as to titanium safety - pretty good, in fact, they use it for hip replacements.)
I'm putting off a first visit (high time) to Occasions with Lestyn Gilmore, expecting to be very tired and also not thinking of arranging a babysitter. We are the babysitters.
This will be nice for Sloane to talk to her classmates about instead of having to explain why she didn't celebrate Easter. They had Passover last week at the other grandparents'.
My boys had to explain why we celebrated on Memorial Day. A convenient family reunion weekend, just before summer, in my parents big house. "Easter baskets" hidden with clues concocted by a designated relative, filled with whatever my mother bought, similar to her approach to Christmas stockings, but summer stuff, mostly.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Changing of the guard

Administrators change and policies as well.
I hear the new director of the Yarmouth Senior Center wants a designated gatekeeper for the ballroom. One person to report to her. Could Debbie Israel be set to step into those shoes? If so, congratulations!
A new superintendant of Falmouth Public Schools could perhaps be more open to the performing arts. I will try a contact there. As well, both middle schools, Morse Pond (5&6) and Lawrence (7&8) are advertising for new principals. The program set up by MASSABDA has been a success in the Boston area, and might work here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Dance with CCBD

With Joe out of town until Wednesday, I was considering not going, but I got the great offer of a ride and decided I could try wearing being a dance host. I dressed the part, not a skirt, but a dressier version of my teaching outfit which is always slacks anyway, so students can see what my legs are doing.
For an extra treat, dinner was at the restaurant I had hoped to try, Fin in Dennis.  Larry and Carol Kane, CCBD members, have a daughter who is chef/owner and produces seafood, beautifully chosen, cooked and presented.
Dave Burbank's music was pretty good. Mostly not particularly Latin, except "Blue Bayou" which can be a great rumba, and the singer clearly loved the song.
Waltzes crowd the floor, so I avoided them except for the mixer. Leader/followers were pretty even, so I switched out to get a dance with JP and fellow Karen Seiden brought along. Unfortunately, "Amazed" by Lonestar, though a great song, is not actually a waltz.
This morning I actually felt a bit tight in the hamstrings - time for a stretch before any digging.
Yay, Spring!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Just what I wanted

Samba Rocks, a snazzy little step that does more than make a pretty picture, go with the music, and move along line of dance slowly - it changes rhythm, putting another texture into the dance, assuming we can pull that trick off! Thanks, Ron.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A&B 2014

Went to Providence for an excellent little show - would not have known about it if I did not have the excellent modern dancer daughter-in-law, Ali Kenner Brodsky, this year's recipient of Art Fellowship for Choreography in Rhode Island, rehearsal director for Lost Wax Company, this weekend presenting her own work with her colleague Betsy, for the A&B production in a black box theater on Empire Street, plenty of parking just a block beyond in a lot that is full in the day.
 I attended rehearsals for Ali's last piece while watching my grandson. One of the dancers runs a studio in Fall River, another is Shura Baryshnikov, and another Miss Massachusetts 2013.
Talking to a ballet dancer before hand, we discussed my forte, ballroom dance, which she likened to Contact Improv dance, one of the hardest forms to master. Contact Improvisation Ballroom - it just gets better the more you can mix that in.