out of the ashes

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dirty Dancing

Once in a while. Okay, quite often…I get sidetracked over at Youtube. Rostropovich’s performances grab me, and then suddenly Sara Bareilles appears and knocks me out. Well, Mr. Rostropovich doesn’t dance (that I know of), but Sara does…and does it so well! Bobby Brown. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Ah, Dirty Dancing.


Put a great dancer onstage. Put TWO great dancers together out there. The result can be amazing. Put an entire cast of great dancers and a great song…

I’m not sure what I was doing that prompted me this afternoon to pull up Time Of My Life, but I’m so glad I did. I remember the movie Dirty Dancing well. I vividly remember that remarkable scene at the movie’s finale. Medley’s voice coming on soft and husky. Who else could have fit the singer’s role better than he? And Jennifer Warnes floating in a few bars down the line. The song was magic! The lyrics have the power to melt you (still, after all these years), the melody, and maybe best, the arrangement. Perfect for the movie.

But that is only half the draw for me. Like I said, two great dancers in Swayze and Grey—yes, she really was good. Patrick Swayze was merely phenomenal--but it was the choreography, I think. Yes, that’s what did it for me. I keep going back to about three minutes into this seven-minute segment, watching the dancers led by Swayze, coming up that middle aisle. I could watch that short portion (and listen to the music) all day long. Somehow I feel so much better about life, about the world when I see and hear this kind of art.

Thanks Hollywood. Thanks Jennifer and Jennifer, and Phil, and--God bless--thanks Mr. Swayze, you went away much too soon.

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