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Blier’s Blog: NYFOS@Juilliard / “The Land Where the Good Songs Go”

January 7, 2014

There are things you just wouldn’t know about your students until you work with them. For example. Joe Eletto cannot do the shimmy. On the other hand, Alex McKissick can shake his, um, upper torso like an overachieving Maytag washer-dryer set on “Shred.” This came to light yesterday when we were staging “Shimmy With Me,” originally destined as Joe’s comic turn. But Mary wanted the guy in the song to learn the dance and boogie offstage with great panache. It turns out that Alex is not just an earnest, sweet-voiced, bright guy but a closet Mexican Jumping Bean. I imagine he could be arrested in some states for shakin’ it out the way he does. (The girls are also amazingly good at the shimmy. Where do they learn stuff like this? Don’t tell me, I don’t need to know.)

Hannah had her first day–her flight from LA had been delayed and she joined our program in progress. Hannah seems to be a girl living in 2014, but it’s clear to all of us that she’s really being beamed in from 100 years ago. Her freedom with this style is so sure that it makes me believe in past life regression.

–Steven Blier

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