June 8, 2013

Fish Choreography

The Princess has a dance recital today.  Now, I call her The Princess on this blog, which might cause you to envision a sweet little feminine flower who loves all things pink, sparkly, and floral.  She used to be that sort of princess, but no more.  We recently painted over the pink walls in her room, switching to purple.  She ditched the Disney princess quilt for a black, white, teal and purple cheetah-patterned duvet cover.  She now has framed artwork instead of puppy and Bieber posters on the walls.  Today, her pseudonym fits only because of her attitude and order of birth.

Back to the dance recital.  The Princess is not a ballerina, she takes a hip hop class.  Fortunately, the studio is keen to be family-friendly, so there are no overtly suggestive moves, despite the urban nature of this type of dance.  The studio's recital encompasses all of their classes; lyrical, jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop.  Thankfully, they decided to divide their full catalog into two shows, instead of one monster with 36 acts.

Unfortunately, each show required a FOUR HOUR dress rehearsal.  Last night, I sat through two run-throughs of the show we will see today.  This, after dressing my 10-year-old up like a hooch.  I understand that makeup is beneficial to stage lighting, but it is disconcerting to see my baby girl with bright red lipstick and Cleopatra eyeliner.  Remembering the strict prohibition on underwear is also a distraction, as a steady succession of Daddy's-little-princesses take the stage, with leotards and dance shorts riding up to their nether regions as they writhe around on the Marley floor.  A couple of those girls had better be making costume adjustments today or the crowd is going to get more than they bargained for.

As with so many other child-related activities, I am left wondering if the majority of those kids are on the stage because they want to be, and how many of them are being (artificially) led to believe that they have some talent at what they are doing.

But, the most disturbing part of the 18 acts that I watched being rehearsed, was the consistent use of Fish Choreography (FC).  This is a term of my invention.  FC has migrated over from cheerleading and pageantry, and taken over the dance world.  I am sure there is some other name for it, but FC describes what I see, animated face with open mouth, animated face with pucker, occasional smirk, repeat.  Looks just like a fish out of water, gasping for air.

My last great hope for comedic relief, as I wait for The Princess to perform in the lucky 13 spot, is that Jack the toddler will be returning for the performance.  Jack came to rehearsal last night.  Everyone learned his name by the third act, as his dad was constantly chasing and calling out after him.  Jack finally settled in and paid attention to the dancing on stage by the end of the rehearsal.  A budding Foley artist, I believe, as he added perfectly timed sound effects to the ballet routine, making a fart noise each time the girls bent over or landed a jump.

Give that kid a microphone today and it will be a recital no one will ever forget.

No comments: