*Forever Linked,* 6/9/18
Richard and I saw *Forever Linked: The Early History of Precision Dance Troupes* at Pace University on 6/9/18. I read about it in the New Yorker, it sounded interesting. It was an overview of precision dancing with featured speakers and performers, anchored by The Legacy Dancers, a line of former Rockettes.
The performance was at 6 PM on a Saturday. We both blanched a bit when we saw the long list of numbers in the show, twenty-five numbers total. I wondered if maybe they were using the Met Opera Wagner model, and choosing a 6 PM curtain time because the show was going to be six hours long. Thankfully that wasn't the case!
The performance was directed, choreographed, and co-hosted by Mary Six Rupert, who had a cute origin story - - she was living in Los Angeles when the Rockettes celebrated their 50th anniversary. It's rude to put such a precise date on this, but let's say it was sometime around 1975. She became an L. A. Rockette in a satellite company that was formed for the 50th anniversary. That company folded after the holidays and she moved to New York, and according to her, she was the only L. A. Rockette to be cast in New York.
The whole show had a strong whiff of Community Theatre about it, which is honestly a refreshing change from the resolutely professional grade stuff I usually see. The first number was "Another Opening, Another Show," performed by the twelve Legacy Dancers. They did four numbers over the course of the show. They were cute, they clearly knew what they were doing and were enjoying themselves. Their Snow White-esque hand postures were a little hyper-feminized for my taste, but I can overlook that. What I cannot overlook is bad rhythm. They were always in synch with each other but occasionally out of synch with the music. At least once in each number they got ahead of the beat, which snowballed to make them quite a lot ahead of the beat, like a full beat ahead. I often use the expression "tap dance on my last gay nerve," which is particularly appropriate in this case, since we're talking about actual tap dancing.
A few highlights: Katherine Corp and Kimberly Corp were the strongest dancers in the Legacy line-up. I'm not sure if they're twins, but they're definitely sisters. They were wonderful, very polished and poised. My favorite number was "I Won't Dance," done by Brittany Cattaruzza and Tommy Joscelyn. They were a cute young couple, they're getting married this summer, which yes, gave an extra little "Aw" to their performance. They had that ineffable thing I prize above much else: they had charm. I could totally see them doing a specialty number in an Encores! Cole Porter musical at City Center.
Richard's favorite number was done by the hostess/director/choreographer and her nephew - - or was it great nephew? He was about three or four years old and TOTALLY ADORABLE. It could have gone in the opposite direction and had a Jon Benet kind of creepiness, but they were both very sweet, and he was clearly doing it because he wanted to do it. He required a bit of direction, especially in his handling the (tiny) cane, which was the cutest thing of all. He's the Little Ricky for the new millennium.
The show, predictably, ended with the Legacy Dancers doing a kick line to "New York, New York." Which was, predictably, ahead of the beat.