W42ST Daily 5/18/2020
Are you OK? How can we even begin to answer that? The reality is so much more complicated than a simple yes or no. Some days are good. Some days are bad. Some days you want to weep from the knowledge that you won’t feel the touch of another human being in perhaps months. Other days you have a drink outside with socially distanced friends and, even wearing masks, it feels so almostnormal you’re giddy with joy.
The number of Americans reporting serious mental distress is up to 38% from 4%. So if you identify with any of that, then you’re far from alone.
Jamie Valentino puts into words what most of us are feeling.
“Honesty would mean confessing to binge drinking and replacing my plant-based diet with pepperoni pizza. I could joke about my hair or how ‘street style’ now borders on pajamas. ‘I’m fine,’ I reply, instead.”
Read more of Jamie’s story – and nod in recognition – here.
And how are you REALLY? You can find support, and tell your own story in support of others, at the Mental Health Coalition’s howareyoureally.org.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Even if you’re not missing sport, how could you not smile at sports commentator Andrew Cotter’s reports on everything from Australia’s penguin parade to the exploits of his labradors Olive and Mabel. Inspired. Adorable. Is he single?
DO THESE THINGS
Get ready to groove
A weekly class introducing dancers to la técnica de danza moderna, an intense, soulful technique developed in Cuba. Focusing on breath, alignment, and expression, it’s pay what you wish (suggested price $10). Start dancing here.
See films about design
The Architecture and Design Film Festival has moved online, and will be screening a movie every night at 8pm. Tonight’s offering is The Man & The Architect, about Sydney Opera House designer Jørn Utzon. Stream it here.
Support Covenant House
Morgan Freeman, Usher, Dolly Parton, Meryl Streep – the stars are out in force for tonight’s benefit concert, A Night of Covenant House Stars. It’s all in a fabulous cause, of course, as well as being a splendid opportunity to check out celebrity home decor and quarantine hair. Stream it here.
Head to Harlem
Virtually, of course, for the Harlem Stage Gala, hosted by LaChanze and Tamara Tunie, with appearances from Bill T Jones, Claire Danes, Hugh Dancy, and more. Watch it here.
Watch The Winter’s Tale
The Globe Theatre’s online premieres continue with this production, which will be available to watch until the end of the month. Get your Shakespeare fix here.
And if that’s not enough Shakespeare
Red Bull Theatre is live streaming Coriolanus tonight, reuniting the cast of its 2016 Off-Broadway production, via Zoom. Watch here.
If you’re enjoying the W42ST Daily, please take the time to tell a friend. There’s room for everyone at this good, old New York block party. They can sign up on the big, yellow blob below.
W42ST FAMILY QUIZ
We’re talking dance crazes this week – as described by The Guardian. But what are they? Answers below (no peeking!)
1. Perhaps the only video to feature Princess Diana, Gaddafi and the Statue of Liberty, whose limbs were computer-manipulated into mimicking the ancient Egyptian reliefs that inspired the song. On one hand, this two-arm movement couldn’t be easier; on the other, the video reveals dozens of uncoordinated New Yorkers making an enjoyable hash of it.
2. Who knew that this pony-spanking dance could do so much harm? It has led to deaths, rival gang shootouts, near-fatal LSD trips, conspiracy theories, fraudster arrests, Ed Balls’ spirited jockeying and illegal firecracker production. Not to mention all the slipped discs.
3. The first global dance craze is a softer, desexualised version of a dance that stems back to 19th-century slaves and looks incredibly gentle today. Still, it provoked endearing bafflement among commentators at the time, who likened its “piston-like motions” to “baffled bird keepers fighting off a flock of attacking blue jays”.
4. When this band performed this particular song on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in January 1979, the group hadn’t choreographed a dance, but the audience, mistaking the band’s raised arms in the chorus for a Y formation, invented one on the spot. Clark, agog, made everyone do it again immediately. Forty years on, we’ve never stopped.
5. Of all the moves in this Bob Fosse-inspired routine – one that spawned a thousand high-end exercise classes – none is as arresting as the singer’s final pose as she audibly gasps for breath after nailing it.
The name game returns tomorrow.
1. Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles
2. Gangnam Style – Psy
3. The Twist – Chubby Checker
4. YMCA – The Village People
5. Single Ladies – Beyoncé
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