Alex Wong dance funny

23 Jul

In today’s entry I would like to “spotlight” a couple of dancers, as most dancers are dying to be the prima/primeur.  There are a select few like me, on the other hand, who hate being the center of attention though.  It’s maddening really, because at times I want to be one of those people who comes alive and embraces the spotlight, but I always end up shaking like a leaf in an earthquake and feeling massively uncomfortable.  And that’s just for Informances, nothing remotely professional.  I confound myself because I treat every class like a performance and enjoy every moment, and yet I have this gift for crumbling under pressure. 

For example, have you ever been asked to demonstrate something in class?  It happened to me for the first time, EVER last week at BalletMet with sweet peach George.  In the grande allegro he gave us the timing was a little unclear (4 x saut de chats, chassé, tour jeté, saut de basque) and apparently I was getting it.  So he asked me to demonstrate, and I was confused for a moment because the possibility of me demonstrating something has never occurred to me, and more importantly, why?  But he mentioned the timing and so I did it, and what do I do?  I screw up of course.  Tour jeté’d off the wrong leg…for some reason my brain froze and decided it’s kind of weird to saut de chat right and then chassé left and tour jeté with the left leg.  Especially because my right side is the better tour jeté-er so it always wants to dominate.  It’s like what teacher Jessica says when she demonstrates frappé combinations at barre…that she always has to use her “smart foot.”  But rather than smart I’d say my right side is a tyrannical bully.  You should be ashamed right side…you ruined my moment, and for that I shall demote you and always mark on the left.

But enough about me, there’s this woman in Karen’s class who if you can believe it, is at least in her sixties and still dances…barre, center, allegro, the whole shebangsies.  OSU has this sweet deal called Program 60, where senior citizens can take any classes for free, just for personal enrichment.  Anyway, we think she’s fierce (I’ve also been told she has recovered from a stroke!), and I was telling Sveta that she could be in her 100’s and in a walker and still strut around the nursing home en pointe.  Come to think of it, wouldn’t having a walker be really convenient anyway?  It would be like having a portable barre with you everywhere you go, and because it flanks you on both sides you wouldn’t even have to détourné to work both halves of your body.  But I digress…the point is, she is amazing, and you have to admire her passion and continuing ability to dance.

My next spotlight points to Alex Wong, a dancer that became well known for auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance,” but was denied participation because of his contract with Miami City Ballet.  First of all, I’m going to mount the soapbox and say that I’m not exactly a fan of SYTYCD.  I admire the dancers of course and am glad that dance is on TV and is reaching new audiences, but I can’t stand Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and even Mia Michaels (who everyone seems to love).  Nigel is by far the worst, because he thinks he’s the big man on campus now, and something tells me he’s just bitter he was no primeur danseur and thus greedily soul-sucks perfectly good dancers by finding something to criticize about them, and control how much exposure they get on television.  Not to mention he’s a behemoth sexist, who said unforgivable things to that gay ballroom couple (something to the effect of “he didn’t like it” and “boys should be boys and girls should be girls”) and is constantly finding subtle ways to enforce sexist stereotypes.  Is it any coincidence that the girls did a group Bollywood routine, with heavily bejeweled costumes, rich colors, and intricate hand movements while the men took off their shirts in an athletic, dynamic, “powerful” African dance?  As if women have to be “exotic and sexy” while the men have to have muscles and be “wild.”  In a way it’s also enforcing racist stereotypes while simultaneously feminizing/masculinizing certain cultures.  Could one person seriously do more damage to the world of dance?

The answer is yes.  Because he’s the same numbskull that created that awful show “Superstars of Dance,” which pitted certain cultural and folk dances (and some not) against others.  Who’s to say that Irish step dance is better than Indian Bharatanatyam?  Or that the 7-time world champion Irish dancer is better than the most famous Bharatanatyam dancer in India?  And to make matters worse he had representatives from each country judging, with the home country judge omitted if their country was performing.  So in essence, you have a bunch of people who have no idea what they’re talking about, and somehow their judging is supposed to be legit?  Seriously.  And as much as I love ballet, I’m not at all surprised the Russian ballerina, Maria Kochetkova won.  Maria was wonderful, but OY.  Ballet won over Kathak (a North Indian traditional dance) and popping.  What does that even mean?  I hate the way these competitions trivialize dance and turn into these circuses where acrobatics and the big tricks so often take precedence.  The meaning of art is being lost thanks to the likes of Nigel who is much too eager to exploit dancers for “ratings” and titles that mean nothing.

Oh and Mary Murphy knows her ballroom but she’s loud, obnoxious and talks too much.  That is all.  Dismounting soapbox, 10.0 landing.

So back to Alex Wong…he is a dancer that youdancefunny really appreciates.  Not only is he a technical phenom, he has quite the sense of humor.  The fact that as a ballet dancer he can perform the “Single Ladies” dance in its entirety is amusing, but he takes it a step further by performing it in a character ballet costume for what I would call the absolute best Single Ladies parody done to date:

And not only that, he also pays homage to one of the best movies ever, “Bring it On” in this “dancers gone retarded” video:

If you check his youtube channel, you can also see a video of him and his friends/roommates doing a…something…tribute?  To “28 Days Later” which I shan’t post here because it really doesn’t have anything to do with dance (not to mention the movie really grossed me out so I try to block out memories of it), but is worth a watch because you can tell it took place in a dancer’s residence since he beats one of the cannibalistic zombies with a foam roller.

There seriously needs to be an SNL geared towards dance comedy, and he seriously needs to be the star.

10 Responses to “Alex Wong dance funny”

  1. Karena July 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Wow! I think you just made my entire year with those two videos! And yes, just that one line makes Bring It On officially the Best Movie Ever (not that I’m still bitter over the snotty cheerleaders that I went to ballet school with or anything). I might have to go watch it again now.

    • youdancefunny July 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

      I’m horrified that you even had to take ballet class with cheerleaders…is nothing sacred? They have such uncommon goals.

      Meanwhile, maybe they were just snotty because patrons of the fake tan aren’t exactly cherished in Seattle.

      • Karena July 28, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

        Well, they claimed they were on the “dance team” or some such nonsense like that. There were pom-poms involved. They were cheerleaders.

      • youdancefunny July 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

        Oh dance teams…don’t get me started.

  2. corn4hubbard July 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    i agree with you about nigel. i hope that when i audition i can talk about the issues of feminine/masculine dance. according to him and his thoughts about dance, i’m not the ideal male dancer, but i hope to change his mind one day. we’ll see.

    • youdancefunny July 25, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

      Change his haircut while you’re at it, and introduce some COLOR into his wardrobe.

  3. Benita July 31, 2009 at 4:18 am #

    There is a thing about these competitive reality shows like SYTYCD, Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, etc: they aren’t really competitions, they are our new “variety shows”. Whereas the past had Uncle Milty, Ed Sullivan, Sonny and Cher and even The Muppet Show to showcase different types of talent (and often ballet and other dance forms) nowadays viewers crave a sense of control that was absent when we were content to allow the mysterious men who ran the networks to decide what was good for us. The two hour phone in window ensures that diehards have to watch while the show is on the air to make sure their vote counts and keeps advertisers happy in the silly thought that we aren’t powering through their ads with our TiVos and DVRs. I long for the return to straight variety shows but that’s gone but I also don’t live with the lie that somehow Nigel is bringing new audiences to ballet, he isn’t. I’ve been attending ballet and other dance performances here in NYC forever and the audience is the same as it’s always been:people who either grew up going, took dance at some point in their lives, current dancers and those who found their way to it on their own.

    To be fair, SYTYCD has had Bollywood danced by a male/female couple twice now.

    • youdancefunny July 31, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

      I too long for the variety show…and I wasn’t even alive for that era. I would rather see a grand exhibition of talented artists doing what they do best, rather than a bunch of accomplished dancers being forced into genres they have little experience with. It’s all a part of what I like to call the “age of mediocrity,” where we’re all supposed to believe everyone is special and can do whatever they put their mind to, when so often that just isn’t the case. Mediocrity is also achieved because versatility is being pushed for instead of being the icing on the cake, and we end up with lots of icing, but no cake. Which seems sweet at first, but sucks in the end.

      Of course, at the root of it all is the root of all evil, money…since they probably don’t have to pay the dancers as much. As good as many of the dancers are, for some it’s like they get what they pay for (or less). The most inspiring dance by far on the entire show was when Complexions guest performed, and it baffles me that we can’t have a dance show that just gives us exhibition performances like that. Or even more interviews with dancers…I couldn’t believe that Veronika Part’s recent appearance on Letterman is the FIRST time they’ve ever had a ballet dancer…as if ballet was invented a month ago!

      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to hear that audiences in NYC haven’t increased (in some ways that might be for the best…I was so annoyed at the screaming fangirls during Complexions’ performance), but I think enrollment in modern and lyrical jazz classes has increased a little, especially here in podunk Columbus, Ohio. At least amongst college kids anyway, so interest has increased a little.

      Thank you for your comment…very insightful!

  4. wendy dyer August 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    That was very funny. Keep them comming

    • youdancefunny August 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

      Why thank you! Always glad to entertain!

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