Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sepia Saturday 237: 19 July 2014


Alan from Sepia Saturday says "You might want to go to the ballet, or the dancehall, or the theatre or anywhere you find lots of chiffon and over-dramatic poses" for this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.

For some reason I can't locate any personal sepia photos to contribute to this week's theme so we will just have to make do with contributions from The Commons on Flickr.  



Dance in Queensland is going gangbusters at the moment.  Queensland Ballet recently staged MacMillan's production of Romeo and Juliet to sell out audiences.  My father was lucky enough to see it and said it was "Superb - no doubt the best ballet I have ever seen. The
costumes were simply gorgeous and the dancing, acting and music combined in
a way that made it almost like opera - but without the singing of course."  You can see some of the beautiful images from the production here.  You may remember Queensland Ballet's Artistic Director is Li Cunxin of Mao's Last Dancer fame.  How lucky are we?

And now this week we are being spoiled with a production of Red Shoes by Expressions Dance Company created by Artistic Director Natalie Weir.  I think I first came across Natalie's work when visiting Townsville for work and was introduced to the  magnificent Dance North company.  At the time I was working for the AFTRS and we were offering workshops in creating Dance for Video with a visiting BBC expert Bob Lockyer.

So in terms of professional dance companies, I think we are very well served.  

Mere mortals like myself love to dance too, of course, whether it be in the kitchen or the dance hall or at parties.  I learned ballroom dancing at school but have never really felt comfortable dancing with a partner.  I went to an all-girls school where boys were in very short supply - many of us were obliged to take on the role of "the bloke" and consequently I tend to take the lead when dancing with a partner!  

My kids learned to dance at school and did quite well in the hotly contested Dance Fever competitions with other schools. I particularly like this photo of learning to dance in Longreach in 1928.



I have been told often about my husband's aunt's wardrobe which was packed to the brim with dance frocks and matching shoes.  She and my in-laws frequented perhaps the most favoured place to dance in Brisbane during the 40s  - Cloudland at Bowen Hills  You can check out some photos of Cloudland here and here to get an idea of what it was like.  Unfortunately Cloudland was demolished in 1982 to make way for apartments and a piece of Queensland history was lost forever overnight.  


Many photos of couples were taken at Cloudland like the one below.



Of course in my mind's eye, I like to think that I look like this when I dance.




Sadly, I fear that reality is very different.  

When I was growing up my mother used to take me to the National Library on a Sunday afternoon I think to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers trip the light fantastic.  Other Dance movies I loved were in hindsight, the very cheesy, Flashdance.  Who could resist the funny Hot Stuff scene in the unemployment queue in The Full Monty.  I loved the dance scene in Frantic too but my all time favourite is the one in Pulp Fiction.




For more dance fun, quick step your way on over to see other Sepia Saturday contributions.

22 comments:

Jo Featherston said...

I absolutely love that photograph you found of the school children learning to dance!

Alex Daw said...

It is a bit special isn't it Jo?

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

The Full Monty scene is the best!

Alex Daw said...

It does make you laugh doesn't it Jackie? Love it!

Joan said...

Alex, what a travel through danceland you gave us. I have loved dance since I was a child, followed ballerinas like a groupie, thought I too looked like Sheherizade. And I loved Flashdance, but then there hasn't been a dance movie that I dinna like. Thanks for the trip.

Mike Brubaker said...

Very clever! I re-watched Pulp Fiction recently and thought the dance sequence was cool too. You would enjoy "Mad Hot Ballroom" a 2005 documentary film about NYC schoolkids learning to ballroom dance and compete in a city competition.

boundforoz said...

They are all great photos but the children learning to dance is just perfect. And like the other comments I thoroughly enjoy movies that have some ballroom dancing in them. Strictly Ballroom is a favorite.

anyjazz said...

Ha! Fun post. Loved the clip!

Alan Burnett said...

Flickr Commons is such a fabulous resource, I could wander around it vaults for ever and be happy. Thanks for showing me some of the images I have missed.

Sharon said...

I wish I could dance! But unfortunately I have two left feet...or two right feet!

My Aunt and Uncle (when alive) were amazing. I could watch them for hours as they floated not danced!

The same Aunty learnt to tap dance when she was in her 70s! And was good....a natural!

Little Nell said...

I’d never seen Pulp Fiction so that was new to me, but I agree that the Hot Stuff scene was a winner.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

I was perfectly convinced you look like the costumed dancer when you move...I'm sure if you just had her costume you definitely would. Great post.

Wendy said...

Many years ago my husband and I and some friends signed up for ballroom dancing at the local community center. We were SOOOO much younger than the other students that we just dropped out after a couple weeks.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Joan - I am glad to be of service. I do feel that dance is the most spiritual of all art forms. The greatest expression of the human soul.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Mike - I shall try and keep an eye out for that doco. It does sound like my cup of tea.

Alex Daw said...

It's the hats isn't it boundforoz? Some of them big and some of them small. Very endearing.

Alex Daw said...

Glad you liked the clip. John Travolta was so great in that film..a kind of loveable useless schmuck really.

Alex Daw said...

Alan I agree - I could be sucked into its vortex forever.

Alex Daw said...

Learning to tapdance in her 70s??? What a woman. There's hope for me yet!

Alex Daw said...

Yes it's not a film for the feint of heart but there are some classic scenes in it - this was one of the nicer ones.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Barbara. You are now officially my best friend!

Alex Daw said...

Oh what a shame! I remember going to Jazz Dancing for many years in my late teens/early youth. Dancing goes in fads and phases doesn't it?