Saturday, September 11, 2010

A New Marvin Hamlisch Song


A New Marvin Hamlisch Song

After the Career Transition For Dancers benefit Gala last year, Marvin Hamlisch called to congratulate me on the evening, and to say that he wanted to use these two fabulous young ballroom dancers I had on the program, Alexandra and John, on one of his events (it was actually their first big performing experience, and have since been on those dance shows et el). Anyway, I thought it was a prank call because he didn’t say so-and-so gave me your number! As I listened to see who was pretending to be Marvin until finally he said that he liked that I used a clip of his music (the clip was from A Chorus Line) in this great "opening film montage". The montage was about the history of American dance in a 3 1/2 min. with the theme "everybody's doing it". The clip was from A Chorus Line...... IT was then that I realized it was no prank call. "A couple days later I got up the courage to call him back --- "You know, A Chorus Line is a brilliant classic but it is basically about dancers trying to get into a show. What about writing a piece or song that is about the trajectory of what happens after - dancers stay in the field, they move out of the field but whatever we do (and some don't actually stop), but whatever we do do, we never stop being dancers. The dancer is alive in us always. I am a dancer dancing when I'm moving or not, I am a dancer dancing even when I stop." And, that is an empowering thing that we dancers need not forget.

The song, turned out to be one with Lyrics by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes, and called "I'm Really Dancing". It will be performed on the upcoming CTFD Gala, Marvin will be playing and it will be sung by our evening Host, Angela Lansbury, along with guest artists Charlotte d’Amboise, Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Desmond Richardson, Chita Rivera, Randy Skinner, and Karen Ziemba. The musical arrangements are by David Caldwell, who I worked with in China (see our T-Shirts below that he designed). And, I will choreograph the number using a mix of talent as I always do that includes ABT II; the World Cup All Star New Jersey Cheerleading - or as I call them the Cheerleaders; a wonderful baton-twirler/dance Natalie Enterline, a talented young dancer who can do all styles of dance including gymnastics, Capoiera, break dancing and hip hop, that was in my piece out with NCI (National Choreography Initiative). Ben Needham-Wood.

My writer for this year, JoAnn Young who wrote Marvin's last show (and also the TV special on Liza Minnelli last year) describes the song as a light-hearted anthem that captures the upbeat physicality of dancers that lasts a lifetime. But, I would have to say it is a tongue 'n cheek take on our profoundly felt inner dancer. We all have an "inner dancer", by the way....

David and Me: The shirts say Musical Director and Choreographer in Mongolian & Chinese!

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