Category Archives: Performance Art

Andrew Dances

A performance by a 21-year-old named Andrew on the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer last Saturday brought the audience and the judges to their feet, and offered a brief respite from the crudity and ugliness that have characterized so much of the last two years.


More about Andrew

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Shocker: Happy College Girl Dances with Friends!

I generally avoid politics on this blog, for a whole bunch of reasons, but this is irresistible.

At 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Back in 2010, when she was a student at Boston University, she and some friends made a video in which they matched dance moves from the 1980s movie, The Breakfast Club, to the hit song, “Lisztomania”, by the French band Phoenix.

A few days ago, a sad little right-wing troll attempted to embarrass  Ocasio-Cortez by posting parts of the video, along with a rude and spiteful description. Emphasis on “tried”, because the attempt backfired spectacularly when virtually all the people who commented on the clip found it to be various shades of bright, cheerful, and endearing.

Judge for yourself. Here’s the full video:

Having unwittingly boosted the name-recognition and popularity of the new member of Congress, the troll deleted his account and scurried back to wherever it is that humiliated trolls scurry when they just want to pull the covers over their heads and hope nobody will find them. (Hint: If you ever visit Ann Coulter’s house. Don’t Go into the Basement!


Equal Time

Of course, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is not the only political figure to give a fresh interpretation to a pop song by using it as the basis for a new video. While researching this article, I found another politician who added an entirely new dimension to “Once In A Lifetime”, by the Talking Heads.

In the interest of equal timing:


And now I’m off. I’ve heard that there’s a video of Ted Cruz lip syncing “Closer”, by Nine Inch Nails, somewhere out there on the Internet. Gonna find it if it takes all night.

Just Another Drama Club Kid Being Driven to Rehearsal by His Mom….

This glorious video deserves a Special Tony Award.

Colin O’Leary presents “O’Leary Car Ride: Showtunes 2018”, and gives us a brilliant and hilarious treat to end this less-than-brilliant and hilarious year.

I’m absolutely in awe of this kind of talent and originality and pure charm.

In addition to that Special Tony Award for Colin, his mother and grandmother should share an award for Best Supporting Actress.


Colin’s YouTube channel helpfully lists all the Broadway musicals captured in the video.

The 2018 British Christmas Ads: Sainsbury’s “The Big Night”

In the same way that American advertizers screen some of their most creative (and expensive) ads during the Super Bowl, British department stores and supermarkets go all out on television advertizing at Christmastime. While this year’s crop isn’t as memorable as some of the ads in recent years—that 2014 John Lewis Penquin ad!—this one stands out.

It’s this year’s ad from Sainsbury’s, which is one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains. The ad is an early favourite for the Best Christmas Ad of 2018.

Full screen recommended.


The song, btw, is the New Radicals’  “You Get What You Give”.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival — Catalonia on the Washington Mall

I went down to the Mall last Thursday to check out the Catalonia section of this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Perfect day for it.

Just a few hours earlier, the Mall had been filled with tens of thousands of people watching the Fourth of July concert and fireworks, but by morning, every trace of them was gone. The Park Service is really good about clean-ups.

This Human Tower Team, Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls, can trace its history back more than 200 years. At the Festival, they gave a small sample of what they do. Here’s a video of a somewhat more impressive performance:

Of course I went for the food. I had Catalon Pa Amb Tomàquet, which is garlic and tomato toast, with Serrano ham. Lousy picture, great sandwich.

When US troops arrived in Europe after D-Day in WWII, Europeans were impressed with the height of Americans soldiers. Things have changed since then, especially in Scandinavia and Holland, where the local teenagers now tower over typical US visitors.

The only place in Europe where I’ve ever felt taller than most of the residents was in Spain. I thought about that as I watched the dance of the Associació de Geganters i Grallers d’Oliana.

Powders for street décor. They’re used to create “carpets” like this one:


The image at the top of this post is from the Folklife Festival’s website.

David Bowie is Almost Over

After a phenomenally successful five-year, five-continent, 11-city  tour, the Victoria & Albert Museum’s David Bowie is exhibition is coming to an end. The show, now at the Brooklyn Museum, closes on Sunday, 15 July 2018. There are still tickets available, but the remaining weekends are heavily booked.

Unless you already have a ticket, you won’t be able to get in tomorrow, 20 June 2018, because it’s a very special day.

Here’s a little background to explain why:

According to Billboard, “…when the exhibit first premiered at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in March 2013, expectations were low. ‘No other museum had booked it for the tour,’ co-creator Victoria Broackes confessed, ‘and we’d published 10,000 copies of the catalog. There wasn’t a lot of optimism that it was going to be a rip-roaring success.'”

“Rip-roaring success” is an understatement, as David Bowie Is became the V&A’s fastest selling show. More than a year ago, it became the most visited exhibition in the V&A’s 166-year history.

And tomorrow, it will welcome its two-millionth visitor.


To celebrate, someone will be designated as Visitor #2,000,000 and will receive a signed lithograph of a Bowie self-portrait, a limited edition of the David Bowie Is book, a pair of Sennheiser headphones, and a premium subscription to Spotify.

With more than 180,000 visitors,  David Bowie is is the best-selling exhibition in the Brooklyn Museum’s history,

Look. This is a flat-out amazing exhibition. If you have a chance to see it, GO. You won’t regret it. If you skip it, on the other hand, you’ll never forgive yourself. Those 2,000,000 people are going to be talking about this show for the rest of their lives, and when they find out you didn’t see it, they’ll be relentless in their ridicule and scorn.

This is one party you shouldn’t miss.


If you’re unfamiliar with New York, it might be helpful to know that the Brooklyn Museum is a 45-minute subway ride from Times Square. It’s a straight shot, no transfers trip on the 2 and 3 lines, and the Brooklyn exit is at the Museum’s entrance.

Here’s a “Know Before You Go” video from the Museum.


All photographs in this posting came from the New York Times online.

“Cherry Blossom Dream” at ARTECHOUSE

I was away from Washington during this year’s cherry blossom peak bloom, which is one of those times when the city is at its most beautiful. By the time I returned, not a petal remained.

But I got back in time to make it to the Sakura Yume’s immersive “Cherry Blossom Dream” at ARTECHOUSE.

The display reacts to body movements and gestures, so you can throw splotches of colour on the walls simply by waving your hand.

This was my fourth or fifth visit to ARTECHOUSE, and some of my initial fascination with the concept has diminished as my familiarity with it has increased, but it’s still a wonderful place to spend an hour or so.