Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon 2008

It’s Here!


Grab a partner because it’s time to hit the dance floor as bloggers everywhere get ready to dazzle you with their style, grace, and amazing feats of blogging about dance movies. Whether dance is used as a pure study in form, an element that is integral to the plot, or pure wow-’em entertainment, participants of Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon will give you unique ways to understand and enjoy these wonderful moments in film.

And here we go!

Sunday, May 4

Jonathan Lapper at Cinema Styles goes Beyond Routine: Choreography and Dance and ponders the greatest dance number on film (or do you disagree?). Check out his great moving banner.

Joe Valdez at This Distracted Globe discusses a great teen dance film Save the Last Dance.

Marilyn Ferdinand at Ferdy on Films, etc. talks about Dancing in Tight Spaces using Royal Wedding, Tap, and Dance With Me as examples.

Glenn Kenny from offers some great screen caps from four films by Jean-Luc Godard.

Rick Olson at Coosa Creek Mambo contemplates in an older post the dance of the solar system in Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies.

J.D. does a kick-ass job on Rock n’ Roll High School over at Radiator Heaven.

Bob Turnbull gives us so many transcendent dance moments over at Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, all I can say is “Go! See!”

Bob Westal at Forward to Yesterday offers a whole slew of posts he did for his own Fossethon late in 2007. I’m linking to Part I of a three-part post. I suggest you start here and then wend your way through the entire collection.

Danielle Gordon grapples with the definition of a dance movie at Lady Wakasa’s Journal and promises a week of posts that try to answer that question in the broadest way possible. Must reading, if you ask me!

Monday, May 5

Peter Nellhaus from Coffee Coffee and More Coffee offers some sexy screen caps and commentary on the Coyote Ugly of Mexico, Mesa que Mas Aplauda.

Pat at Doodad Kind of Town offers a thoughtful review of Robert Altman’s The Company.

Mark Osborn at Tractor Facts gives us rundown of David Bowie’s dance with the Muppets (!) in Labyrinth.

Arbogast at Arbogast on Film tells a chilling tale of a dance on command in Curse of the Werewolf. Yikes!

Installment 2 from Danielle Gordon at Lady Wakasa’s Journal is a tour de force on dance in silent movies. Thanks for mentioning our mutual love of silents, Lady!

Pat Piper has discovered a new film genre: The Angry Young Dancer. He’s got the lowdown on the archetypal film of this genre, Footloose, over at Lazy Eye Theater.

Jim over at The Moviezzz Blog takes the hazardous step of choosing the best dance scenes of all time. Wanna argue about it? Visit his site.

Tuesday, May 6

SciFi Drive has chosen some of the best dance routines in scifi movies. Time Warp, anyone?

David Cairns at Shadowplay took the weirdest Busby Berkeley film I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying a lot!), The Gang’s All Here (review on this blog somewhere), and gave a brilliant exposition on the disembodied heads in polka dots that end the film. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen this “dancing heads” number.

Ah, Astaire! Adele, that is. Jonathan Lapper at Cinema Styles produces a photo of the more famous Astaire and his earliest dance partner—his sister—and tells us a little about where she got off to while Fred was becoming a star.

Richard Harland Smith over at TCM’s has contributed one of the best ballroom scenes in filmdom from my favorite vampire movie of all time The Fearless Vampire Killers (or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck). Thank you, thank you, Richard! We’re not worthy.

Wednesday, May 7

Wayne Howard at Reel Whore shows us more Angry Young Dancer and a whole lot of amazing moves in what he declares a masterpiece of impromptu dance as a source of comedy, Hot Rod. I’m not about to argue.

Peter Nellhaus of Coffee Coffee and More Coffee gives us a second post in his area of great interest—Asian films. The Japanese film Carmen comes Home explores cultural shifts in part by asking whether stripping is an art form. Great reading!

Rick Olson at Coosa Creek Mambo is back with a new post on the wonderfully archetypal dances in the films of Fellini. Sometimes you do have to be Fellini to figure it out!

Henrik Eriksson of Swing, Jazz, and Blues – Dance to the Music provides a treasure trove of films and performances that link music and dance. Have fun rifling through his wonderful closet of posts.

Kirby Holt at Movie Dearest shows the history of men dancing with men in the movies is extremely long, varied, and well worth your attention.

Anna Brady Nurse of Move the Frame, our first dance blogger(!), schools us on the Madison through the works of Jean-Luc Godard, Hal Hartley, and John Waters. This you gotta see!

Bob Turnbull of Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind checks in again with an older post, Blood Wedding, by my favorite filmmaker currently working in dance films, Carlos Saura. Bravo!

In case you had any doubt, Kimberly Lindbergs at Cinebeats reminds you that zombies don’t like bad dancing in her post about Umberto Lenzi’s Nightmare City.

Back with Installments 3 and 4 of her series, Danielle Gordon of Lady Wakasa’s Journal discusses independent film and her other passion after silent films—Asian films—with a few thoughts on dance in Hong Kong cinema.

Editor A, Cahiers2Cinéma, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, Ha ha ha ha ha.” It’s all here.

Thursday, May 8

This is a reminder that I am going to be spending most of the day on an airplane. I will check in as soon as I can in Honolulu and post all the new entries. Please be patient and please tell me about your new entries in the comments section of this post. Comcast is acting very weird lately.

Roderick Heath from right here on Ferdy on Films, etc. gives us the dance that keeps on giving with his take on John Travolta’s famous disco dance in Saturday Night Fever and its numerous offshoots.

Haven’t had your daily fix of psychokiller dancing. Hop over to Gee Bobg where Bob Glickstein has a bunch of “killer” video clips to share.

Whitney Borup at Dear Jesus brings us the good news about Newsies.

Friday, May 9

Sorry to be gone so long, but the famous wifi hotel wasn’t after all. I’m working from the business center right now and hope to find an internet cafe somewhere today. Waikiki is kind of shock right now–so built up and my favorite hotel to stay here demolished to make way for some kind of gated village for vacationers. Ah me, nothing stays the same… But back to the blogathon.

Thought there was nothing to like about Heaven’s Gate? Jason Bellamy of The Cooler begs to differ.

After her great post on The Company Pat from Doodad Kind of Town returns with another on East Side Story. Yes, East Side.

Installment 5 of Danielle Gordon’s fascinating series on Lady Wakasa’s Journal is Hurray for Bollywood! I know there are a lot of Bollywood fans out there, so go read what Danielle’s got to say.

Let’s help bbrown launch his new site, Screenshottery by viewing his sexy series of screenshots from Mean Streets.

I’m absolutely thrilled Peter Nellhaus of Coffee Coffee and More Coffee is back with his third and final entry into the blogathon—an appreciation of Nancy Kwan in Flower Drum Song. I may be in the minority in loving this film, but Peter tells you why it’s worth your time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Happy 109th Birthday, Fred Astaire

Here we are at the last day of the blogathon. We’ve got a last few posts from the diehard participants, but I want to thank all my participants and readers for making this such a fun party.

Does Your Heart Beat Faster?. It will after your read Critic After Dark Noel Vera’s excellent review of “the subtlest, wittiest, and arguably most demented” film from his home country, The Philippines. Thanks, Noel!

A fever dream double feature from David Cairns at Shadowplay: The Great Gabbo and The Great Flamarian. Erich von Stroheim dances!

My good buddy Gautam Valluri at Broken Projector breaks from his usual fare to join the blogathon with a tribute to the birthday boy, Fred Astaire, in Three Little Words. Your timing is impeccable, Gautam.

Danielle Gordon from Lady Wakasa’s Journal finishes up her outstanding series with a very informative post on Fred Astaire. Thanks, Danielle, for your wonderful insights all week.

Kimberly Lindbergs at Cinebeats checks in with one more wonderful entry, Ted V. Mikels’ B-movie bonanza Girl in Gold Boots.

Carl Nelson at Carl’s Jazz Dance Blog, our lindy hop specialist, checks in with great words and clips from Stormy Weather.

Campaspe gracefully explores Dance as Soliloquy over at The Self-Styled Siren.

  • Daniel spoke:
    5th/05/2008 to 10:02 am

    This is awesome. I was hoping to get my act together and join the dance with a post on Mad Hot Ballroom, but I just couldn’t get to it. I guess my recent review of Planet B-Boy could have been a start as well. Anyway, I look forward to everyone’s articles – great idea!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    5th/05/2008 to 10:23 am

    Daniel – Thanks so much! You know, you’ve got the whole week to write it…
    I love Mad Hot Ballroom and think it’s a wonderful documentary that talks about a lot more than dance. Even if we don’t get a review out of you, I do urge everyone to try to see it.

  • Whitney spoke:
    5th/05/2008 to 9:09 pm

    I hope I get a chance to participate. I’m still thinking about what film(s) I would like to talk about. Anyway, great idea! I hope you have another one soon.

  • Daniel spoke:
    6th/05/2008 to 1:51 pm

    Argh, it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Busy week and I’m already a bit backlogged. Maybe I’ll pull out an 11th hour miracle. Yes, see Mad Hot Ballroom – a superb film that, as you say, delivers on so many different, important levels.
    Great to see so many people involved with this – congrats!

  • girish spoke:
    6th/05/2008 to 8:19 pm

    Marilyn, this is such fun. Thank you!

  • Maya spoke:
    7th/05/2008 to 9:20 am

    Congratulations on such a fun blogathon! Recovering from pneumonia and still trying to manage the SF International has left me weak in the knees and weak at the keys; but, it’s been fun to read the contributions of others.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    7th/05/2008 to 9:21 am

    Thanks, girish, I’m glad you’re enjoying it as much as I am.
    Maya, I’m sorry you’re so sick. I hope these fantastic feats of terpsichore are cheering you up and giving you strength.

  • Jason Bellamy spoke:
    8th/05/2008 to 9:46 pm

    Fun blogathon. Here’s more to add to the pot…

  • Pat spoke:
    8th/05/2008 to 9:52 pm

    Marilyn – Hope you had a good, safe trip over. I have just put up another blogathon post on “East Side Story,” a documentary about Soviet musicals of the ’30s-’60s. Enjoy Hawaii and the festival!

  • Piper spoke:
    9th/05/2008 to 5:40 pm

    Hell of a blog-a-thon Marilyn.
    Great entries and it was fun to participate.

  • Fox spoke:
    9th/05/2008 to 11:53 pm

    Hey Marilyn-
    Just popping my head in to say … GREAT JOB THIS WEEK! I’ve enjoyed reading various entries (can’t say that I’ve made my way to them all).
    This is a great blog-a-thon.

  • Gautam spoke:
    10th/05/2008 to 1:26 pm

    Marilyn!! I’ve finally arrived- the traffic outside is just menacing 🙂 Here’s my contribution, it’s my pleasure to be a part of this event..
    Break a leg!

  • Gautam spoke:
    10th/05/2008 to 1:58 pm

    Just glad I made it! And oh I love the picture of Fred, he was hardly ever on the ground that man.

  • Kimberly spoke:
    10th/05/2008 to 7:02 pm

    At 4pm west coast time I finally managed to finish up my second piece for the blogathon Marilyn. Thanks so much for the hosting it. I had a blast revisiting Girl in Gold Boots!

  • Peter Nellhaus spoke:
    10th/05/2008 to 9:23 pm

    This is one blog-a-thon that seemed to go into some very unexpected directions, so much for the better.

  • Lady Wakas spoke:
    11th/05/2008 to 10:07 am

    Marilyn – Fred was posted (just under the wire!), but I wanted to be sure to thank you and all the other participants, posters and commenters. This was a great idea, and there’s now quite a bit of info to peruse and digest.
    What a success! Looking forward to seeing what you do next year. %^}
    – LW

  • Jandy spoke:
    11th/05/2008 to 12:41 pm

    Marilyn, I didn’t get an entry up after all; school got in the way as it tends to do. But I’ve greatly enjoyed looking at everyone else’s entries! Thanks so much for organizing this and to everyone for participating. Great theme and bunch of contributions.

  • Noel Vera spoke:
    11th/05/2008 to 8:27 pm

    Hi, ferdy, the link to my site doesn’t seem to work. Here it is again:

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