The original 1987 Dirty Dancing is a movie that worked against all odds. Eighties sensibility (and hairstyles and theme song) shoehorned into a Sixties nostalgia piece, a miniscule budget, a cast of unknowns, and a troubled production – not to mention a heroine named … Baby. And yet it positively crackled, thanks to Eleanor Bergstein’s deeply personal script, crazy chemistry between leads Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, and the ethereal gyrations of the late, great Swayze.
Wayne Blair and Jessica Sharzer’s remake attempts to be all things to all people, and ends up being nothing to anybody. The 2017 made-for-TV Dirty Dancing manages to be both a grim, workmanlike re-creation of the original – some scenes are rehashed shot for shot – and also a vast extrapolation that bloats the original’s runtime by more than an hour. It’s also a musical (but only sorta), a melodrama about the decay of marriages, and a clumsy (if well-meaning) treatise on issues ranging from feminism to institutionalized racism.
::Recent things taking place called for some changes, not just for myself, but for the characters of the blog as well. That doesn’t mean I’m going to fully reboot them, just make a few necessary changes in order to bring myself comfort again. Dapper’s gender bend Makeover being one of them (Even if they really don’t see much attention). I continue to add characters too, it will stop soon. I also want to make a note; I know I want you guys to have fun with questions, and I want to have fun answering… Just, I want to be an interactive blog with those who really wish to interact with the characters; So, as a favor to all of us here, have fun and talk to everyone, not just Dapper, Boris and Alli. There are other character willing to chat, play or even act a fool in the name of fun.
I do hope this didn’t bore you. But we look forward to seeing new and old faces around. Thank you for reading.
Tonight: Dancer Carmen de Lavallade and critic Debra Levine discuss choreographer Jack Cole and the style he pioneered, which came to be known as “modern jazz dance.” MoMA Film is celebrating Cole’s contributions to the movies with screenings of works including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Gilda, and other classics.
[Debra Levine and Carmen de Lavallade at The Museum of Modern Art, January 25, 2016. Photograph: Sara Beth Walsh]