Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Dancing Man

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

Charles Dickens
Thank you, all of you, to those I can reply to and those I can't, for you kind and comforting words to me about my friend Bill.
Now this is the story of a man named Sam. Sam is a dancer who performs mainly in musical comedies. He's a good dancer and a good man.

I was the principle player in a musical years ago, and in it I had a solo dance. I'm not much of a dancer and I need a lot of help and preparation. The show had a choreographer who was very interested in staging the big ensemble numbers but had no interest in me.

On the first day of rehearsal I explained my limitations to her and requested that she set my choreography as soon as possible so that I could learn it and practice it.

Nothing happened, A full week went by while she worked with the dancers and never noticed me. I repeat, I was the leading performer in this musical and the only one with a solo dance and my needs and wishes were being totally ignored.

Finally we got together and she gave me some opening steps which were very good and just right, but then she left it there. I made a tape of the orchestra playing the music for my dance and worked on it back in my room. But beyond the opening steps I didn't know what to do and in rehearsal I just did a lot of jumping around in order to fill out the music, expecting that she would get back to it and finish designing the dance.

When I asked her when we would work it out she said she liked all the jumping around. Well I didn't. It wasn't authentic to the character, to the story or to the music. But when we got to the first public performance that's what I did. After that night she left for another job.

Then I went to Sam and said "Sammy, please, you've got to help me." He obviously had seen the dance and how second rate it was and how much I was suffering because he didn't even take a breath. "Sure" he said.

The next morning we got together on the stage when no one was there. I played the tape and showed him the first few steps I had. He listened to the rest of the music and when I played it through again he came up with a dance that was perfect. Right off the top of his head. Right off the bottoms of his feet. The only trouble was it was too complicated for me. He said 'Okay" and simplified it a bit. It was still beyond my ability as a dancer, so he simplified it a bit more and it was fine. I could do it. We ran through it a few times as he taught it to me. Then I did it on my own while he watched and made a few corrections. Then I ran it five or six more times until I was secure with it.

At the performance that night that was the dance I did and I was applauded even from the stage.

Thank you Sam.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?


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1 comment:

Rose said...

Kudos! To my dancer!

Hugs, Rose