Watch So You Think You Can Dance, I’m Begging You

Dance.jpg Tomorrow I will talk about the horror of the Bones finale, but today I have to talk about So You Think You Can Dance because it premieres tonight and I’m determined to get everyone to try this show this year. It’s my favorite reality show and I honestly think it’s something special and you will thank me for this.

I’ve posted this before I believe, but I loved Heather Armstrong’s (Dooce) piece about the show. Some highlights:

“… the true success of the show is that it doesn’t go to great lengths to exploit a contestant’s weakness or failure. What makes this show so great is that it celebrates just how magnificently the contestants can move their bodies.

“Few reality shows, if any, have ever given me chills like this one has, and while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” this summer I have cried more than once when a street dancer has realized that his world can be so much bigger … watching these young kids who have never danced anything but hip hop pick up a slow waltz as if they have been practicing it for years has been some of the most inspiring television I have ever watched. I have discovered that I like watching people dance just as much, if not more, than I like listening to people sing …

“… every week it has put me square in the middle of a new dance routine, an exhilarating new style, as new for me as it is for the dancers, and in the relative solitude of my living room I can feel at least for a few thrilling minutes as if the rhythm is moving through my own feet.”

Please, please, please give it a try. Hang in there during the auditions part, whether you like that part or not. You need it to get to know the dancers, but the show really comes alive once the finalists are picked.

What I love as much as the dancers, which Heather alludes to at the end, is that it’s also just as much about the choreographers who really try to come up with new and exciting routines weeks after week, many of which rise to the level of art. (Actually, it’s all art but some are just, I don’t know how to describe it, high art vs low art? That’s a little bit it, but that doesn’t describe what I mean either.)

If you get into it, you will want to go to this url after the shows, it’s a blog for fans:

Me at 20 or “I Chose Wisely”

My undergraduate degree is in fine arts, and while I was a student my fellow male students were always asking the girls if they could draw or paint them, naked of course. Hey, I don’t blame them for taking a shot, and some were sincere, but come on. It was about getting to see girls naked. I always said no. At the same time, I wasn’t against the idea, and I was too modest and wanted to get past that. So when an artist named Craig McPherson who was older and a little further along in his career asked I went to an old ice factory in Washington Heights and took off my clothes.

Sometime later my friend Chris saw this drawing and said, “That’s Stacy Horn’s butt!” I’ve always loved that part of the story. We’ve been best friends since we were 12–I guess she’d seen my butt enough to know it, even transformed in another medium.

I don’t believe I ever saw Craig again, but he emailed me a couple of weeks ago and generously sent me the drawings he made that day. I am just so thrilled to have them. I absolutely love them. Isn’t this beautiful? The second one was too big for my scanner, but it’s lovely, too. Here is Craig’s website. I love his work. I am patting myself on the back for having such good judgement. I’m drawn to the same things he is visually, he sees the city as I see it. This dark, industrial, smoldering, clanking, fiery city. He has a mural down at the World Financial Center (commissioned by American Express) that I have to go see. A detective that I was talking to when I found out said he knew it well. Craig also has a show up right now at the Frick in Pittsburgh, if you’re in the area.

Thank you so much for these drawings, Craig. As I said, I will treasure them. Thank you.

Rare Evidence of Love

They don’t usually cuddle like this. Normally they just hang out in the same general area, like in the photograph below this one.

This is what they usually do, hang out a foot or two from each other. It’s like they’re saying, “I like you, but I don’t love you. Let’s keep this straight.” But secretly, they love each other.

Dance Parade 2008

I couldn’t stay very long this year, I was meeting some old friends for lunch, and I missed my favorite part, all the hip hop dancers, but here are some dancing drummers I liked.

Oh My God Fantasia!

I didn’t watch the first few seasons of American Idol, so I missed Fantasia’s season. And whenever I saw her on something I never got her. This week I got her. I mean, my jaw just dropped her performance was so great. I know some people were “wtf” like Simon, but she just blew me away. Her and her smoking hot back-up girls. Everyone else, the other contestants, now seem like lifeless, personality-less, walking dead zombies next to her, I’m sorry to say. I’m not sure it comes across in this YouTube video, but it was just freaking amazing.

The video I linked to has been taken down, alas.