Friday, September 09, 2005

 

Let's Dance!

Today, I met Yvonne Marceau and Pierre Dulaine, dance partners (and business partners) in American Ballroom Theater and the Pierre Dulaine Dance Studios. Aside from being delightful to talk with, Dulaine & Marceau are recognized as the finest adagio couple of their generation. They founded American Ballroom Theater in 1984 and are the masterminds behind the company's educational arm, "Dancing Classrooms," a dance-in-schools project which they rolled out in NY public schools in 1994. Currently the two are deciding (and in fact were talking today about) how to platform the success of the NY version across the country. This program, and the annual dance competition between schools which results from it, is covered in the much-talked-about documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, produced and directed by Marilyn Agrelo. Look for Mad Hot Ballroom, which one critic aptly described as "Spellbound meets Strictly Ballroom," to be a leading contender for a Best Documentary Feature nomination come Oscar time. Also, look for Pierre Dulaine's life and career to hit the silver screen next February in the fictional account, Take the Lead, with Antonio Banderas portraying Dulaine. The film is written by Oscar-nominee Dianne Houston (for the 1995 short film Tuesday Morning Ride) and directed by music video director Liz Friedlander. With musicals heating up Hollywood again, perhaps actors should be warming up their tap shoes as well.

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