Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Politics of Dancing

In between doing housework, watching the Democratic National Convention on TV, and the London Paralympics online (wheelchair rugby, aka murderball), I forgot to watch So You Think You Can Dance, which last year featured a duet performed by Oakland's AXIS Dance company, with Rodney Bell and Sonsheree Giles.

This time/last night, AXIS dancer/choreographer Sebastian Grub performed the intense duet "The Narrowing" with new company member Joel Brown (Bell has left the company). Here it is.

Brown is also a musician, and you can check out his cute sexy music video here:

UK/Scotland-based choreographer Mark Brew, who set another work on the company, will be returning to set a work on AXIS this fall. Read my 2011 interview with him, Giles, Bell, and director Judith Smith in this Bay Area Reporter feature.

Also featured on So You Think You Can Dance, openly gay cutie-pie choreographer Travis Wall also granted me an interview for the BAR a few weeks back.

If there's any connection between the DNC and these various straight, disabled and gay performing artists, it's that while watching the Democratic Convention, I never saw so many disabled people, or heard so many references to disability, at such an event.

Tuesday's theme seemed to be about everyone, including non-specific "gay" references to marriage and military equality. Sure, the speeches were pared for easy digestion for the gay-fretting undecided voters.

But it's now miles ahead of the Republican platform, whose evils I'll not address here (except for Mitt Romney's gubernatorial veto of funding two accessible elevators shortly after he bought himself an elevator for his cars!).

Suffice it to say that the DNC "politics of dancing" is more fun to watch, and has a bigger, more diverse cast. In fact, this DNC set a record with the highest number of openly LGBT delegates ever (550!), including Philadelphia Gay News Publisher Mark Segal, (who got a hug from the First Lady!).

Locally, the "shared community" Bill Clinton discussed in his amazing speech is a reality. Here's an example.

If you want to see AXIS Dance in action while enjoying a party, they're hosting an Open Rehearsal and Silent Auction, Saturday, September 29, 6:30pm, in Oakland. Check out the online pre-bidding for artworks, theatre tickets and vacation packages HERE.

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