Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nerd alert

Last night I went out.  Not entirely by accident, but not by design either. And while this may not mean much to some of you, or may sound like a total nightmare to others, to a certain type of person (and mother) it can be a lovely, little surprise.  I bought tickets ages ago to see Riverdance. You know, this:
(click here if you can't view)

Straight-up, legit Irish step dancing. Admit it, other than that dude's lame goatee, it's impressive. I planned on taking The Husband. I'm unsure if he would have enjoyed it quite as much as I, but he is quite tolerant and indulgent when it comes to my interests.  Just one of the reasons The Wife enjoys his company so much. Of course when the tickets arrived back in January I stuck them in a drawer and promptly forgot all about them. Fast forward to yesterday when I caught an ad on TV for Riverdance: My memory kicks in and I scurry, but fail to get a sitter and decide my mother wasn't properly primed for a last minute babysitting gig. Was The Husband secretly relieved? We'll never know (atta boy Husband). I was going to skip it, then thought maybe I'll find a friend last minute to join me. No such luck: one's husband was working, so no built-in sitter; one laughed out loud at me and strongly implied the invitation was severely lacking in hipness (nobody is perfect: her, not me); one had plans (go on girl); one didn't call back; one was at the ER with her husband because he sliced his hand open. Since I only have five friends and one husband, it was solo or not at all. Dinner made, kids in bed, husband half asleep, so I said: screw it, I'm going. 

A whole bunch of dancing made sweet, sweet love to my eye balls for two hours:

old school step dancing

muy caliente
Ray Lewis
not really
Corey Hutchins shows his tricks
 jazzy, Gregory Hines style-American tap
Irish steppers
(a.k.a. a lean, smooth man-dancing sandwich...
in which I would be the meat)

I covet those dancer legs

okay, this is a little gay

My ears also got some action. Beautiful Irish singers, with their lilting voices singing old-school Celtic songs and new stuff too. The dancers and singers were accompanied by live Irish musicians as well, no pre-recorded crap. The score was etherial and somewhat tribal at the same time; I'll admit, I found it inspiring and little empowering. If the Braveheart soundtrack gives you shivers this stuff'll make you poop your pants. They played a whole bunch of Irish instruments that I could never recognize,  clarinets, saxophones, of course fiddles and banjos, and a drummer with a drum kit like non-other. He was good, and got way into it. I was half expecting him to throw on a loin cloth and pull a Tommy Lee circa '87:

not Riverdance

I've always had a definite soft spot for the performing arts. Probably because it's something I never could, nor will attempt.  I love to hang with my friends and make them laugh, but I keep the inner circle tight. Plus, I blush easily and have no rhythm. I was an athlete/book worm when I was a kid, and as an adult I prefer to hide behind my Mac and anonymous blog.
the preforming artist in me
Riverdance was created and produced in Ireland in 1994. It was celebration of the massive Irish cultural tradition of step dancing; the producers also threw in a bunch of great Irish musicians, singers, and a few other dancing elements like a Flamenco number and some jazzy-bluesy-American tap. The entire show had an original score as well. It took off like a house on fire. The first real blast of Irish culture into the world's pop-culture. It was all over PBS, touring in major cities, and was eventually spoofed by SNL and some other very funny people. And as we all know, if SNL is poking fun: you've made it. Really the mocking was of one of the lead dancers: Michael Flatley, The (self proclaimed) Lord of the Dance.  (I guess) he was a big-wig in the very small world of "stepping", and his massive ego and d-bag ways were magnified by the success of Riverdance. Disgruntled by sharing the limelight, he clashed with the creators/producers and eventually left, allegedly stealing a lot of the content for his own show. 
d-bag who wrecked a good thing

He made himself a laughing stock, and $240 million, with crap like this:

shirtless d-bag
Feet of Flames?!

d-bag ON FIRE

And this:
sexing-up a time honored cultural tradition = d-bag


Eventually he started wearing a shirt and moved on to this shit:

enough said
Clearly I could go on and on posting pictures of this donkey's theatrical shenanigans, but instead I'll let  Stavros "Flately" and his 12 year-old son, Lagi, take a crack at The Lord of the Dance, nay Celtic Tiger:

real deal holyfield
The Greek Irish Dancers even made it to the final of Britain's Got Talent in 2009 (year of The Boyle):

Your welcome for that.
All told, I had a great time. By myself. My evening definitely reminded me of few things: 
  • I need to get out more, even if it's by myself. While I'm perfectly comfortable in my own skin, sometimes it's hard to make the effort without the commitment of others. Do it anyway.
  • I really like step dancing. And the Irish.
  • I  must learn how to finger-whistle through my teeth. It would've come in handy last night.
  • Turns out the uilleann pipes rock.
  • Stavros Flatley's son, Lagi is my hero.  Michael Flately is not.
    Not bad a night out.


    1. Next time, please call ME, your potential friend (and mother to a certain sweet 1st grader who may be sweet on your 1st grader) who is an equal in your nerd-i-tude.

    2. Nerd-i-tude. I like that and it has been filed away for use at a later date.

      You, my dear, should be careful what you wish for because you are now on The List. Check yur'self.

      (Interestingly enough I got 4 or 5 emails from far-away-friends saying that if they were here they would've gone in a hot minute. And all but one of my usual go-to's were down with Riverdance too. Turns out it's not just my mom and I that dig it.)


    Have at it darlings...