Please actually dance for Comic Relief!

16 02 2013

Flash dance

I have just watched the latest instalment in the 2013 Lets Dance for Comic Relief Instalment. I love the concept of this show. It is light and fluffy Dance contest in which contestants re-enact their favourite iconic dance routine for charity and viewers have the chance to vote for their favourite act. There is usually with a good mix of serious contenders balanced with a bit of light relief from the more humorous dance acts.

But tonight’s show has left me feeling frustrated.

I loved watching Robert Webb in 2009 perform the iconic dance from Flash Dance. His witty video log was fantastic; in it he described the turmoil experienced by a young woman forced into a career of dancing when her lifelong passion was for welding. He had a humorous and creative interpretation of a classic film. But when he came out onto the dance floor he managed to achieve something that many of the other comedians fail to do, he actually danced!

He may have been wearing a leotard and a curly black wig but his performance worked because he was more than a simple drag act. It was not the pantomime performance and ‘prating around’ favoured by other stand ups desperate for column inches who forget it is a dancing competition. It takes very little skill to put on a funny costume and wig and get a laugh but to combine it with a real effort to deliver something of substance demonstrates real talent.

I am not suggesting that Robert Webb be enrolled with the Royal Ballet but that his talent runs much deeper than the superficial efforts we have seen from some of his peers. Check out the links to his superb performance on youtube if you missed it the first time round. .

A note to all British comics: please if you do participate in this show, do not pass off the efforts of the costume and make up department as evidence of your skill – to impress the viewers you need to actually put in the ground work yourself. It will either be amusing because you put in 100% effort but still fail spectacularly (but as a comic this should not be a cause for alarm – you are used to being the cause of our laughter) or alternatively we will be surprised by your level of skill and commitment and applaud your efforts and the juxtaposition between our expectation and the standard of the performance.

I'm part of Post A Day 2013




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