A year ago I was walking the streets of one of my favorite cities – London. It’s the first place I made my home away from home (many years ago), so I will always have a special connection to it, and I will always be ready to return. During that last visit, the special exhibit Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 was on display at the National Portrait Gallery. With an appreciation for photography and an interest in the subjects, I circled the crowded room stopping to gaze at each portrait. It was as if I was meeting these characters face to face. Some made me laugh. Some took me off guard. Some made me cry. (Most of my tears were shed in front of the New York firefighters, the cover of the first issue following September 11, 2001.)
I really enjoyed walking through the 2 very different eras of Vanity Fair. The first era, from 1913 to 1936, captured some of the great talents of the time; most were infamous entertainers, writers, theorists, artists, athletes. The second era began in 1983. Again, most subjects were familiar faces of those who entertained, created, or held power. But one particular subject seemed to be missing from the more recent pieces. The dancer. I’m sure there were others missing as well but you must know that I noticed the dancer’s absence because dance is one of the main colors woven in my fabric. And when you meet Fred and Adele Astaire, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Martha Graham on one corner, it’s a shame that Alvin Ailey, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bob Fosse and Twyla Tharp are not there to greet you in the other. (Admittedly, Baryshnikov did grace the cover of the magazine in 1989; however, the portrait did not make the exhibit.)
So here is my challenge to VF: bring back the dancers. Their popularity is on the rise and should be documented. This recent attempt with the cast of Fame might be a small step in the right direction.
My challenge to you: get excited about the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance tomorrow night May 21st at 8/7c. I know; it’s not much of a challenge to welcome Cat Deeley and the “jidges” back, but be sure to leave some room in your heart for a new group of summer friends… I mean, dancers!
Here is a little help: