Tonight our family enjoyed a night of movie music at the OC Pacific Symphony. They showed clips from famous musicals on a large screen above the orchestra as they played the accompanying musical score. What fun!
The evening began with the music from 2001–the opening scenes with “Thus Spake Zarathustra.” I forget how powerful those scenes are until I hear them again. My familiarity is, of course, aided by the many replays of such scenes on Sesame Street. :)
Then they played some music from Brigadoon (lovely) and the dance scene from “Singin in the Rain.” E wasn’t the only one who couldn’t help but hum along. I found that I’d forgotten just how lovely Gene Kelly looked in that movie until I saw him on the big screen (probably my only chance ever to see it on anything other than video or DVD). Following that was a passionate and tragic waltz from Madame Bovary (accompanied by breaking glass–the foley artists must have had fun with that one).
The big finale was the ballet scene from An American in Paris. Though there’s a part of me that’s rather repulsed by the over-the-top stylization of such scenes, my love for Paris and my fondness for the score, and the thrill of the big screen made it a great experience. Again, Gene Kelly blew me away.
Somewhere in the middle of the show–I think during Singin in the Rain–a forgotten memory resurfaced. When C was 3 I found a pair of boy’s tap shoes, sans laces, just his size at a yard sale. I bought them and threaded some old sneaker laces through the eyelets and presented them to C. I don’t think there was ever a more delighted 3 year-old as the moment that he put on these shoes and stepped out onto our linoleum floor! It was a good thing we lived downstairs because we discovered that C could really DANCE. He danced loud and he danced long in those shoes. By the time he grew out of them they were just the right size for his sister to shuffle around in and so we had a reprise of the fun with her. When we moved from 306 University Village we left behind a kitched covered with black smudge marks–eveidence of many hours of fun.
So funny that I’d forgotten. A part of me hopes that I have C on video somewhere tapping. Tho I’m sure he’d be mortified–especially if he was wearing one of his favorite dancing outfits, the one with the cowboy hat on his head, his striped t-shirt and his winnie-the-pooh underpants. Back then I wondered if I had another Gregory Hines or Gene Kelly on my hands. He had such rhythm and passion in those little feet of his! But a part of me was really afraid of having a tap dancing son–what would that mean? Would he be a starving artist, would he dance in STOMP, or Riverdance, or ??? Would he be gay? Would he be teased and ridiculed by other boys??
Now I’m sure that C has no plans to hit the stage. Though he enjoyed the symphony tonite he didn’t seem overeager to find a new pair of tap shoes (despite John’s encouragement). But a part of me wonders if his early incination was naturally squelched as C moved on to other interests, or was it a subcounscious effort on the part of us, or of society, to channel him into more ‘appropriate’ pursuits?