Friday night, Nate and I had date night, we went to dinner and then Christmas Around the World. So being a Folk Dance Alumni, it is impossible to just go and sit through a performance without noticing certain things and commenting on everything that needs commenting on, which quite frankly, is a lot!! Now, seeing as how there was so much to comment on, I can't just get by with saying that the show was great and go on with my life. So for those of you who were unable to attend this year, I will lovingly provide you with a play by play of the performance, so you feel like you were right there with me! Trust me, there is something at the end that you are going to want to hear, so I suggest reading on (at least for Folk Dancers!)
The show started off strong with an awesome Turkish Black Sea dance done by PAC: great foot work, great energy, Great!
Philippines: your standard Tinikling, pretty fun, not too many feet getting caught in the poles, and only a few candles falling off the guys forheads.
PAC girls do a dance I've never seen from China, pretty, but kind of boring
Puerto Rican...9 or 10 WILK...enough said!
Ireland: A little disappointing. The three hand was nice (way to go Hillary), but it was followed by a new dance that was basically a soft shoe done in hard shoes. You can tell that the dance is really meant to show off the 2 male dancers that are dancing with like 12 girls. A pretty traditional song, nothing too exciting, no fancy footwork...and then, that was it. the band came on and played David's Jig, which was the biggest crowd pleaser of the whole suite.
The United States:
Southern Reflections...not one of the funnest dances to watch (much more fun to actually perform) so I entertained myself by looking at all the dresses and picturing everyone who wore each one. It was so funny to look at a dress and see a specific person, like Katie Rynearson in the mint green dress, Jasmine in the fuscia and white dress, Marsha in the lacy yellow number, Marie in the navy blue, Emilee in copper, me in the mustard yellow, and so on and so forth. That right there should tell you how many times we wore those costumes!!
Appalachian patchwork...done by 9 or 10 RB I'm sure. All I could think about while watching this (besides all the memories of tour flashing through my head... Lindsay, how you managed to finagel your way out of all those lame American dances on our last tour is beyond me, and quite frankly, I still think it is wildly unfair!) was: I wonder if these girls have any idea how many hot, sweaty girls have worn those dresses? Probably not!!!
Western Clog...great, fun clogging piece. Fun footwork with lots of toe stands. I guess those are all the rage these days. Again, they were wearing the blue satiny dresses that will forever reek of BO, with the bloomers that are pretty much skin tight. Gotta love it!
We're all in this together...Guest performers Greg and Maria Tucker plus 140 brightly costumed kids. (Why, oh why, must clogging costumes be so hideous?! I mean really!) Fun, energetic dance, complete with tiny little 3 foot cloggers, double- doubling their little hearts out in their bright pink sequence.
Austria: yodeling, guys with white, skinny legs, wearing leiderhosen shorts that are far too short for comfort, flexing, slapping eachothers butts, and frolicking on stage...by far the most entertaining dance in the whole show!
Norway/Sweden: vocal number, lots of close ups of people who don't know the words to the song...i LOVE that!! :)
Russian: A PAC girls dance with lots of fun turns, wearing one of my favorite costumes...the black with orange and green.
Slovakia: PAC guys, wearing awesome blue stretch pants, the one where they steal eachother's hats the whole time. Very entertaining and cheesy. You gotta love that no matter what year it is, and no matter who is on the team, there are always going to be a team full of guys more than willing to ham it up.
Hungary: this was actually done by 9RB it looked like. I was just greatful that there wasn't a full blown botolo...man am I sick of that whole suite. how long do you think we have been doing that? the suite ended with none other than ferfi.
Romania: Oas...i do love this dance, but a couple years ago, Ed changed the music to this slow stuff, and it isn't nearly as fun. but it is still a great dance. it will forever remind me of brent brimhall, no idea why.
Ok people, now for the clincher...this is where we would normally expect Hopak, our beloved finale. So about 1 minute before Hopak was supposed to start, (Russ Wood is announcing Ukraine with one of his fabulous narrations!) Nate says, oh yeah, they're not doing Hopak! WHAT?!! How can you just not do Hopak? I guess it is this new piece, I don't know if they are planning on making it the new finale, but let me tell you, that would be a HUGE mistake. I will say that the costumes were beautiful, and it would have been fine for a new normal dance, but NOT a new finale. Oh man, it really was such a disappointment! The music was far too hokey, as was the dance...picture the dancers thumbs in their armpits and several circles with some kind of spirit fingers going on. The music had no energy like Hopak does. Of course, lets be honest, the girls are really just wallpaper in Hopak, but the whole dance is so pretty and energetic and fun, and what girl doesn't watch Hopak before she is on PAC, and long to wear those red boots?! How sad for these girls, no red boots. Instead, it's: here are your leather bulgarian looking slippers. So sad. There was no standing ovation or wild applause at the end, the energy that is usually created by Hopak, was replaced by anticlimatic tags for all the back up teams and then bows. Sigh. I talked with Benny and Keenan afterwards, and they too were disappointed.
So there you go folk dancers, your own personal CAW review. I hope I was sufficiently critical! ;)