Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Say Dave Brubeck and I hear the music. I hear the da-da di da da, daa-daaa -- that rhythm, those rhythms that set you -- shoulders, arms, head, and feet -- shuffling, chugging, twitching, dancing.

Okay, sure -- stay where you are -- sit tight in your chair, or go stand at your window, and look out at whatever world you are in, and deliberately NOT hear it, NOT feel it, refuse to get involved with the da da di da da, daa-daaa.

I've tried to dance to it professionally, but I couldn't. I need a dramatic idea in order to choreograph a solo or a group number, and I don't have any idea in my head or my body (or soul), when I hear "Take Five."   All I can do is sort of horse around.

Yes, I'm an experienced choreographer.  I've tried moving, jiggling super quickly; tried moving against the rhythm as if I'm daydreaming, but the jiggle-shuffle-stuff to that rhythm just takes over my body again, and I'm stuck with wriggling improvisationally, to the da-da di da da, daa-daaa.

A few minutes ago, I horsed around online -- found film clips of civilians (non dancers), dancing to Brubeck pieces, as well as pros like the Peter Gennaro Dancers, Murray Lewis and his group, Lar Lubovitch and his ballet company -- all them looked too neat, too formal. Then I bumped into film clips of Brubeck's "UnSquare Dance."

Hang on to your hat, guys! Look and listen -- clap your hands on the offbeat, flex a knee, an elbow -- jump up, join in -- it's ten times more fun, and better exercise than any of the exercise gizmos or videos -- just click and dance around.
Hey Dave, I know you died about a month ago -- you've had lots of tributes paid to you, you're missed, you're a big name in music -- hey Dave. you're not gone. you're here, still playing, still giving us the ole Dave Brubeck's fantastical, bone joyous, glorious jazz.

Here are a bunch of famous folks, having fun with Brubeck.

Here's "Take Five."
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