Blood, Sweat and Bunions
By Michael G. McLaughlin
Question: What has 34 fleet feet and dances November 20th and 21st at the Riberas Auditorio? Answer: The Ajijic Dance Community in a benefit performance.
The picture of the dancer’s feet is not pretty and meant to be that way. It is testimony to their hard work and dedication. In the entertainment world dancers are the hardest working and have the shortest careers—much like the athletes they are. Most comedians, actors, singers and musicians, can perform into their 70s, (Can you say Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones?) Professional dancers are ancient by the time they reach forty years old. There are no old principal dancers with any dance company in the world. Dancers use their entire body and especially their feet in their art form and as we all know, for most of us, our bodies are the first to tell us we grow old.
All active dancers fight the ravages of old age with blood, sweat and bunions. Former dancers become choreographers, teachers or open ballet studios. Occasionally you will see a unicorn on Youtube—an 85 year old dancer who can still move with grace and beauty—and the reaction of all not-so-old dancers is “Wish I can dance like that at her age.”
Back to the show. We Will Floor You - Cabaret Extravaganza! Produced and directed by Kristine Moily, features virtually all the active dancers in the expat community, some local Mexican students and the professional Hernandez Dance Company from Guadalajara—Graduates of the school have gone on to professional careers around the world, to include the London and San Francisco Ballet company. The show’s line-up includes not only a healthy dose of dance, but song and comedy:
“Wilkommen” from Cabaret by Kristine Moily as Joel Grey. “Love, You Didn’t do Right by Me” by Patteye Simpson. The song written by Irving Berlin is from the Movie White Christmas. “All I Care About is Love” from the Broadway spectacular Chicago featuring the Heart-Stopper Showgirls: Val, D’Le, Martiza, Joanne, Pamela, Concha, Graciella, Allyson. The notorious Barbara Clippinger is coming out of retirement (again) to choreograph this hot number.
The Mexican classic, “Sabor a Mi” by Maria Camarena with Ricardo Gomez and Angela Ceja dancing. The Hernandez Dancers from Guadalajara will reprise their hilarious and oh-so-true “Selfie Ballet.” This was a showstopper at the lip sync show earlier this year. For those sitting up front and daring there is the Lady Liberty Majorette baton routine by D’Le Beatty-Tobias. No, the batons are not set on fire, (The fire department frowns on it,) but the batons spin so fast air friction causes them to heat up. There is also comedy, “Larry King Live!” an interview with God, with Michael Barry Neal and Don Chaloner. The finale of the performance is a rousing rendition of several songs and dances from the Broadway musical hit “Hair,” “Good Morning Starshine” and “Age of Aquarius.”