Wednesday, February 29, 2012


If I were one of the judges for that "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" show that has just finished its eighth season, what would I say about me, EM, a/k/a Emily Frankel.

Yes, she is quite beautiful -- good proportions, not sensational but ...

Yes, when she's dancing I find myself absorbed in watching .... the flow, or is it ... what?

There's nothing spectacular about her extensions, her elevation when she jumps. Her splits, her suppleness, isn't unusual or amazing in anyway. Her pirouettes, her floor work -- in fact I don't remember specific "passe" pirouettes, her fouett├ęs, or turns ala seconde, or her fantastic floor work. She did all that stuff but somehow ...

As a judge, I find it hard to remember any moment, actually, where I was specifically riveted, enthralled, shocked, impressed ...

Her feet are not really "good" or "lovely" dancer's feet. I didn't pay much attention to her feet while she was performing. Yes, her speed -- it was okay, but the feet ... well, her arms and hands and head movements are interesting, but I didn't really judge her technique -- those technical things about a dancer that can take your breath away, when a fantastically gifted dancer is performing.

She's a smooth sort of performer -- big moments -- wow feats just don't emerge -- you just watch her and it's nice -- it's "dance" dancing where the movement just moves, and you find yourself dancing with her.

You like her hair and her face ... is it her eyes, or what, that somehow projects her presence? Yes. She has a strong presence.

No I wouldn't give her an award. My goodness, many of the other dancers on "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" are far, far more spectacular. They're doing steps -- incredibly inventive gyrations -- that leave us judges open-mouthed. Today's dancers have been powerfully inspired by Olympic ice skaters, and can do a lot of what skaters do without skates -- they're amazing.

Not Emily Frankel. You just watch her. You're rather surprised when she's finished. You like her. You like what you saw, but you don't know why.

You wouldn't hire her for your show -- she's not really a star-STAR. You wouldn't include her in the best dancers in the movies, (like the "DANCING AT THE MOVIES" clip that I posted) -- or include her on the list of the best dancers who've performed with major ballet companies, or on your list of stunning modern dancers such as Martha Graham. But you'd remember the presence.


Carola said...

Since I don't watch DWTS, I can't comment on that analogy. But what I remember of Emily as a dancer is that she tells a story with her dancing, her body, and her face, and thus draws her audience in.

Larry Enright said...

And all this, every moment of it, has made you who you are today. That's where the joy lies.

Maureen Jacobs said...

Lovely shots of you being rather expressive in your dance.

All I can say about that is, Good for You!

I would have loved to see you in your dancing/Broadway days. I think it would have been awe inspiring.

Moving from Philly to Florida is a HUGE culture shock. Artists are far and few between here and the true talent lies either unnoticed or they have high tailed it to the epicenter of artistic freedom.

Regardless, your talents are immeasurable and you are still blooming everyday!~


Kaye Francis said...

Awww Ms. EM ~ a little self-examination gut honesty upon your part here????? & then 'tell the truth' ~ are you or are you not your own biggest critical judgment eye? (I know I am in my artistic thingys). I haven't seen you physically dance ~ the posted pics are wonderful. I can't judge your dance.
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However if your dance is anywhere near the writing of your words...we, your fans know you have 'nailed' ~ presence..... & do suspect your dance held/holds much STAR power. Your writing certainly does!
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Much love to you Ms. EM, that John Cullum o yours & your beautiful FAM ~ I'm @grammakaye on twitter.

Anonymous said...

When Emily Frankel danced....these were moments of brillance. Beautiful poetic dancing, flowing to and fro, unique and original, defined and memorable...once you see Emily dance-you never forget it! kam

Ameer S. Washington said...

As always we were our own worst critics. We love our work, but we never think everyone else will, even if they're supposed to. But if you've done enough for them to remember your presence, then you've succeeded in captivating the audience.

Maybe you're not the dancer in the movie. Maybe you're the back up when the star gets hurts. And some times that can make you a star. It's been done.

Tom Brady, back up to Drew Bledsoe now has 3 Super Bowl Wins and 5 appearances. Phil Sims back up to Jeff Hostetler, won the super bowl. And most recently, Jeremey Lin a back up for the New York Knicks is now the starting point guard and everyone's crazy calling it Lin-Sanity.

Thus I'm sure you'd have gotten great reviews.

Kaye Francis said...

Oh & speaking of 'pop culture' that at least promotes 'dance' ~ Dancing With The Stars #DWTS hashtag on twitter ~ has chosen Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver. Thinkin' he is in rehearsals now. ~
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A musical fav o mine Ms. Gladys Knight will also compete.
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Sigh, I so gave up on #DWTS some years back, bit unsure about going back to it.
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You are wonderful Ms. EM & frankly I am also unsure why I was compelled to post a comment to make sure you knew this information. Hugzzzz I'm @grammakaye on twitter.