Pilobolus Program Cover

After Anne’s bicycle accident, I became the designated patron of the arts and accompanied Joanie to the Dance Saint Louis concert at the Touhill (still the best achievement of Missouri state government, in the thirty years that I have lived here) on Saturday night. The dance troupe Pilobolus, one of the season’s highlights, was in town from NYC. Named after a fungi, Pilobolus succeeds in showing some fun, with its nearly all guy cast.

The most fun piece was “All Is Not Lost”, which was originally created with the band OK Go. The stage is set as a split-screen. On the left-hand side is a large screen video projection of the dance that occurs on stage right. The camera is on the floor, pointed up and looking through a glass table top. This dance piece is like a Busby Berkeley-esque music video. Here is the OK Go music video, it shows only the camera’s POV, but adds more production values than were available on stage.

Sunday has been a quiet day. Anne is getting around better than she was yesterday, the drugs seem to be helping. The swelling in her pinky has gone down some, conversely her soon to be many bruises are starting to come in. While the drugs help with her pain and stiffness, they also make it difficult for her to concentrate on her school work. Speaking of school, whether or not she feels up for school tomorrow, is the big question ahead of us now.

I went for a bike on Sunday afternoon, all alone this time. The weather had already begun to shift from Saturday’s record high to Monday’s expected freeze. It was very windy today, something about the gales of November coming early. I kept getting leaves blown into my spokes, which would then proceed to clickety-clack away, a steady metronome for company, on a grey November afternoon.

Monday Morning

Saint Louis Ballet at Dancing in the Street

Anne and I spent our weekend somewhat separately, only crossing paths while around the house. Friday night we didn’t do much, but at least we did it together. Saturday morning, I went into work. When I returned, I went for a bicycle ride in the park. Anne begged off riding and did school work instead.

On Saturday afternoon, Forest Park was full of its usual fall activities, cyclists, runners and walkers, rugby players and wedding parties. On my way home I passed a particularly frigid wedding ceremony, just setting up on the shores of the Grand Basin. Typically wedding partiers only pause at the Grand Basin long enough for a brief photo-op. Even on a cooler than normal weekend like this last one, the bridesmaids don’t normally catch a chill, assuming of course that they are suitably fortified when they stumble out of their idling party bus.

Saturday night, as reported, I watched Iron Sky. Meanwhile Anne and Joanie enjoyed a girl’s night out, dinner and a show. They had a great time, which was only slight marred by a few unsightly Todd Akin campaign signs. They had dinner at Hendel’s Café in Florissant. The show was a Dance Saint Louis production, performed at the Touhill. Instead of their usual venue, which normally features a visiting out-of-town dance troupe, this show was put together from local dance companies. Most of them, we saw perform the previous weekend at Dancing in the Street. The show dubbed New Dance Horizons, offered four world premiers, performed by four local dance companies and created by four local choreographers. Two of the dancers from one of the dance troupes, Leverage Dance Theater, were pictured in last week’s Presidential Date Night post. Another one of the four groups was Saint Louis Ballet, which also performed at Dancing in the Street and is pictured with this post.

Sunday dawned before noon. Anne and Joanie went to the Shaw Art Fair. I went biking again, this time in a nearly empty park. Afterwards, I started water proofing the back porch, all the while listening to the Cardinal’s game, which they eventually managed to blow. The Red Birds never want to do it the easy way.

Monday, monday (ba-da ba-da-da-da)
 So good to me (ba-daba-da-da-da)
Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be
 Oh monday morning, monday morning couldn’t guarantee
That monday evening you would still be here with me
Mamas and the Papas

Presidential Date Night

Acting Out at Dancing in the Street

Most people called it debate night, but I like my spin better. It was actually a first date, which are always a nervous and tricky affair. Don’t worry though, because even if the twitterati decides that one of the fellows totally blew their first date, they are still guaranteed two more dates. While first impressions are always the most important, having two makeup dates has to be a comfort. A lot more first dates could have led to something, if there were second chances.

One more aside, before we move on to the main event. I was passing the card aisle in the grocery store before last night’s big date. In the Halloween section, I noticed a card with Romney’s doctored image on its front. It was captioned with the text “Romney Wins”, in Chiller font. Opening the card, I read the punchline, “This was the scariest thing that I could think of.” I toyed with the idea of purchasing one, and sending it to my Dad, but what if this scary thought came true? As, I put the card back into the rack, I noticed the empty slot in the rack below it. Missouri is a red state.

Most of you watched the debate on network TV. I watched on HBO pay-per-view. My take away from the debate might be a little different from yours.

Michelle stands at the rear of the arena and watches the battle continue. She is entranced by the power of it all. On stage, Obama keeps grinding ahead. He plants a thumping left-wing thrust to Romney’s heart, who winces. Obama is game but losing and Michelle is frantic. She is living the fight along with Barack. Carl Rove and his bodyguard watch from the second row. Rove looks proud, the bodyguard, impassive. The men are debating with appalling tenacity. Obama rips and tears into Romney’s body of lies. Romney counters with a ceaseless stream of rapier-like right-wing jabs. The President is seriously outclassed. Obama wades in and Romney employs some incredible footwork. The Twitterati shift in their seats, “Without a doubt this is the most punishing debate I have ever seen. The audience is figuratively spotted with blood.”

Obama stands stunned in the middle of the stage. Everything is a distortion. He looks for familiar faces as though to ask for help. Then Obama pulls himself together and tenses with renewed energy. He is like a wounded wild animal. The tide suddenly turns. Obama drops low and catches Romney with a pair of terrific body punches that seem to drive Romney’s diaphragm up to his throat. A crack is heard. A glaze of pain covers Romney’s eyes. It is only a supreme effort that keeps the Governor upright. Romney is badly hurt. He is bent over. Obama moves again towards Romney. Romney flicks dread jabs into Obama’s eyes. The Democrat wades in with punches that seem to bulge out Romney’s back. Blood is running from Romney’s mouth. In the clinch he leans over Obama and it drips down the Democrat’s neck and shoulders. Romney mutters, “Ain’t going to be no rematch.” Obama responds, “Don’t want one.”  So Rocky allusion aside, it was a bit of a dog fight.

Dancing in the Streets 2012

Saturday afternoon, after we were done with our plumbing problems, at least for the day, Anne and I hopped on our bikes and pedaled over to Grand Center. Grand Center is Saint Louis’s theater district, home of the Fabulous Fox Theater and Powell Symphony Hall, just to name a couple of the venues there. What brought us to Grand Center was not any of the performances that are regularly held in the theaters that line Grand Boulevard, but entertainment that was occurring right there in the middle of the road, this year’s Dancing in the Streets festival.

Professional Dance Center’s Dancing in the Streets Show

This year, sixty acts performed on three stages. More than a thousand dancers participated. Tap dancing comprised a large portion of the dance acts. The trio above was tapping to the song “Your Feet’s Too Big”. Modern and classical dance troupes along with step dancing groups like the quartet below performed. These four gentlemen were just a portion of their much larger group. There was also a large segment of the festival that is dedicated to traditional or ethnic dance, but we didn’t see too many of those acts. With three stages operating simultaneously, there is no way to see it all. Dancers ranged in age from grade school children to senior citizens. Unlike the often expensive shows that are performed along Grand, Dancing in the Streets is free.

Gentlemen of Vision at Dancing in the Streets

We arrived at one, just as the festival was getting underway. We stayed until four, when my camera’s SD card filled up. I took a lot of video, so another Marquis Production may be in the offing. We enjoyed the performances, from amateurs to professionals, all the dancers put on a good show.