Tag Archives: behemoth sexist

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.