Saturday, June 04, 2005

Interpretive Dance: The Scourge Of Our Times

Before I contracted this horribly annoying illness, I actually had a life; I dined out; I chatted with friends; I even went to see a local production of Machinal, which is loosely based on the 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder.

The play was fairly well done with groovy little modular sets, clangy sound effects, a vaguely feminist theme, adorable costumes, and only a certain amount of over-the-top melodramatic acting (we are naming no names).

However, the finale was unfortunately infiltrated by a baffling "interpretive dance" number, which made absolutely no sense in the general context of the play. Actually, interpretive dance never makes sense in any sort of general context. It's even rumored to be some sort of diabolical plot by the French.

The various actors contorted themselves and bent various body parts interpretively, picking up the star so that her crotch would be prominently displayed at all times. They swooned collectively to one side so that the left half of the audience could get a proper spread-eagled view. Then they swooned collectively to the other side so that the right half of the audience wouldn't miss this exciting body part. As an added precaution, the cast then sagged languorously towards the center so that The Crotch was carefully shown with a reverence not usually seen by those unfamiliar with the oeuvre of Jenna Jameson.

I fear that the entire experience extensively damaged my entire immune system-- just another example of the serious menace that interpretive dance poses to our society. This menace has not only wormed its way into otherwise respectable plays, but has also been seen on television, in movies and in schools across the nation. Not only was I, a modest young person, exposed to this traumatic experience, but frequently so are innocent children! Not only has interpretive dance been shown to damage the immune system, but it is also suspected to be a leading cause of violence and mental illness-- do we really want to expose children to this?

There is no excuse for forcing upright citizens to view such horrors of the liberal arts, especially when the interpretive dance isn't really interpreting anything beyond crotches, armpits, crotches and genitalia.

I feel quite sure that it's a precursor to a hideous Mime Invasion, but it may already be too late to stop.

Our culture indeed has slid far into the abyss.


Blogger kingfelix said...

Pity me. I spent 3 years at an oddball arts college, surrounded by fans and exponents of interpretive dance, physical theatre, devised theatre, etc. The names of Stanislavski and Brecht and Artaud were constantly dropped.

Visiting performances included - a woman who injects herself with stuff to comment on domestic violence, a man who completed a variety of sex acts with a broom handle, Goat Island, a theatre group, fashionably thin, who formation hop for 30 minutes or more at a time (these people are American, shame on you, America) etc

So, the moral is, yes, you have suffered, but not nearly enough as some of us. Take heart from that!

1:56 PM  
Blogger L said...

I pity you, indeed! How terrible for you! I was only stuck with pretentious art students :)

10:51 PM  
Blogger Comfort Addict said...

Was Michael Jackson perhaps funding this production?

11:54 AM  
Blogger L said...

perhaps he was.... although I heard he's been a little short of cash lately

3:44 PM  
Anonymous rhodent said...

LOL...hope the dancer had on underwear! I can't imagine how your sensibilities would have been impacted if unerwear was absent!

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Larry Jones said...

You will be happy to know that there is a dance troupe in L.A. that is currently doing an interpretive show wherein the "dance" moves are literally dictated on the spot by rolls of the dice, thus taking any human design out of the "choreography" and ensuring that the whole thing makes no sense whatsoever.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

I always thought hell would be a place where Satan has you sit down to eat liver and lima beans, watch interpretive dance, sip on prune juice, while listening to punk rock mingled with rap music. For the really demented souls in need of a more severe punishment, Country and Western music would accompany the interpretive dance.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous happy and blue said...

Interpretive dance or hootchie dancing as it was originally called developed as a way to get the men folk to wake up before the carriage ride home. Actually I think it still may be included in cultural events for the a similar purpose.
The women and childen watch the actual play while the men dose off.
Then the children fall asleep near the end of the play signaling the men to wake up for the hoochie dance. The women start gathering their stuff.
Then the hoochie dance arouses the men so they can drive home after. The women are angered into wanting to leave. And the sleeping children are ready to be carried home to bed.
So it is really a necessary part of our current culture..

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

It's the presence of underwear that keeps interpretive dance from being really interesting. People who move around like that really ought to be nude. Of course, people who sometimes want to go to war with others really ought to be forced to be nude, too--it would improve their behavior, if not their general temperament.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Anigans said...

it's diabolical, this interpretive dance virus. i've donated much money to various institutes and charitable organizations to help find a cure. in fact, i'm developing one of those magnetic ribbons that you see on SUV's for it, only it won't be the upright 'jesus fish' shape, it'll be much more....interpretive.

new orleans is a good place to hunt mimes.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

I think we have a truly unique moment in human history here: the word "oeuvre" has never before been used in the same sentence with the name, "Jenna Jameson." I think that qualifies as a form of interpretive diction. (But I do believe Jenna has seen her share of diction.)

Is it me, or does that dancer appear ripe for a wardrobe malfunction?

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Brenda Love said...

How did you expect them to properly do justice to a portrayal about a murder trial without gratuitous crotch emphasis?

10:41 PM  
Blogger L said...

Rhodent: I really can't imagine either

Larry: please tell me their name so I can be sure to avoid them in the future

Mark: that may be the worst version of hell I have ever heard. I suppose it really does take a writer!

Happy&Blue: I will let you stick with the interpretive dance then-- and I will stay far, far, far, far away

Ron: have you noticed, however, that it is usually the people you do NOT want to see nude who are, in fact, nude.

mr. anigans: please let me know if you are successful at mime-hunting this season. Do you stuff them?

Ian: interpretive diction is just one of the many services we offer here at random_speak. and a hearty Ha Ha! to "(But I do believe Jenna has seen her share of diction.)" And you are correct: that dancer is ripe for a major malfunction, if interpretive dancing doesn't already qualify....

Brenda: I suppose you are right... perhaps I'm naive when it comes to Art :)

10:41 PM  
Anonymous weary hag said...

I used to study and assistant-teach the dreaded interpretive dance. One day, while rehearsing for a one-night show, the lead choreographer approached me and told me I was "missing the point" on a couple of moves. I stood back, looked at her parrot-like coif, and gave her a special finger signal saying "you know what? Interpret this" and walked away.
I've never looked back.
They almost drew me into their little cult but I was smart enough to pull away. The bastards!

10:41 PM  
Anonymous glomgold said...

I agree with Brenda. crotch = murder trials. It's that simple.

10:41 PM  

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