Last week my two girls performed in their annual dance recital. Aside from a dislike of some risque costumes – coupled with the fear that one of my daughters would be wearing them – I actually enjoy the performances. There is usually very little hip-hop, and at times, I am awarded with the discovery of some unknown music.
Two years ago I wrote about how surprised I was at the music, which ranged from Wham! and Peter Gabriel to Norah Jones and Dexys Midnight Runners. Last year was 50s music – not my favorite by a long shot – but they still managed to sprinkle in some Regina Spektor and Landon Pigg among the malt-shop moldy oldies.
And oh yeah. The dancing’s good too.
This year was a tribute to the late Michael Jackson (that still sounds weird, doesn’t it?). And it was a musical retrospective of his life – from “ABC” through his time with the Jacksons, Off the Wall and Thriller, and only some of his bizarre, repetitive and sometimes sappy 1990s output. It was all there, culminating in the entire company participating in the now iconic “Thriller” dance.
A family friend brought her 8-year-old son to the recital. He came just to hear the Michael Jackson music and was transfixed by almost every Jackson song. And that’s when I realized that Jackson had become another version of the Beatles – music that continues to transcend generations. Granted, most of the music that the younger kids enjoyed was from Thriller and Bad, but my older daughter liked “Blame it on the Boogie,” one of the numbers she danced to. And she hums “Got To Be There” sometimes. That makes my job of exposing her to good music so much easier.
The company performs at competitions throughout the year, so those performances were also included in the recital. These were non-Michael Jackson songs, and once again, I walked away with new music discoveries – most notable, Tegan and Sara’s “Where Does the Good Go.” How I’ve come this far in my blog without hearing and mentioning these two is a mystery.
In a time where it would be too easy to resort to the latest hip-hop flavor or Ke$ha single, it’s refreshing to see creativity and melody taking center stage. And it warms my heart to think that some young people are being exposed to this at the local dance studio.