What. The. Hell.

There are some people in this world who do not fully grasp the definition of the word “interpret,” which is most often taken to mean: Present in understandable terms. So when I ask you to interpret the word “horrible” for me, you say “Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag.” See? It’s so easy.

When I was spending some months in Japan with that girl who is ignoring my Facebook friend request (frowny face), I attended an artistic event which can only be interpreted as THE WORST THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE. It involved artsy people and their crazy interpretive dance that made no sense. And I know people do this as a job and they do it well (whatever that means) and they get paid and people appreciate it but I’m going to say some things about this genre of dance that those people will not want to hear/see so please click here to enjoy something that is, according to your poor taste, beautiful.

Let’s take, for example, the Trey McIntyre Project. I first heard of this company through rockstar diaries, a blog I read because I have absolutely nothing in common with the author and I’m trying to expand my horizons and learn not to judge people who go to church (also, I’m doing independent research on how skinny people can eat hamburgers and cupcakes while remaining skinny). She posted a link to the dance company because she attended Julliard with some of the dancers and with that information, she posted an article written about the project and it’s founder, Trey McIntyre. The article is accompanied by a photo of three dancers in black and red formal costumes in the middle of Glacier National Park in Montana. The last quote in the article reads:

“While there is a certain absurdity, not meant to be comic, about somebody in a tuxedo in the middle of the woods,” he says, “I wanted to find out what it means when those two elements coexist, what that struggle means.”

And I’m thinking to myself, struggle? The struggle between a park and a tuxedo? There is no struggle. There is only stupid. And this, in a nutshell, is a symbol for the relationship interpretive dance and other outlandish art forms and I share. A bad, emotionally abusive one where someone always ends up crying on the bathroom floor.

Several months ago I shared the following video with Janie. It is a video made by the aforementioned rockstar diaries, of her friend and fellow dancer, on the streets of New York:

What. The. Hell. I’m sorry. Is that mean? It looks like she’s having a really long, drawn-out seizure. Or else she’s been shot. I don’t know.

I just don’t get you, interpretive dance. I tried to make it work. I really did try – I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I did – and you know what? We’re too different. We’re like a desire for something delicious to eat and a plate of cooked peas and carrots; like a wish for Janie to take off her shirt and a cold Winter evening. They just don’t go together, WE just don’t go together. I’m sorry. I’m done trying. Please give me your half of the rent and have your things out by 5pm because someone new is moving in and I don’t think Xena: Warrior Princess Season 4, Episode 5 will understand why you’re here and it’ll just make for an awkward moment between all three of us.


  1. jenna
    August 25, 2009

    Thank-you! thank-you for saying things how they really are.

  2. Constance
    August 25, 2009

    I had to sit through Hamelt presented through modern interpretive dance…ummm Shakespeare without words…kinda takes away the beauty of the dialogue by alot. I feel your pain.

  3. Constance
    August 25, 2009

    I meant Hamlet. Sorry.

  4. August 27, 2009

    THREE HOURS? dear god, i’m not sure there’s anything i want to do for 3 hours. except maybe yard work. but nothing else.

    i don’t get that type of dancing either, you sister are not alone!

  5. Robin O
    August 28, 2009

    My reactions:

    1) “There is no struggle. There is only stupid.” Hee.
    2) I think I danced like that a few times. I shouldn’t drink that much tequila.
    3) (video) I found it curious that she chose to wear a jacket that seems too tight for this, like it’s binding her arms in parts of the “interpretation.” Perhaps that’s what the dance is intended to represent. The discomfort of being inside a too tight jacket. It’s most definitely what it ended up representing for ME.
    4) Did anyone else notice the odd pairing of song and dance? That she’s having this spasmodic reaction to the words, “I love you?” That’s pretty funny in and of itself. In a sick sad dysfunctional way, of course, but still pretty damn funny.

  6. heathen
    August 28, 2009

    Oh, Robin O, I do love your astute observations. Also, I think I owe you an email and I’m sorry.

    Also, maybe they chose that song because she loves her little coat so much that she will dance uncomfortably in it? Something to consider.

  7. August 28, 2009

    I’ve sat through a lot of dance recitals with teenage girls doing this shit, thanks to my niece and her dance classes. What’s wrong with doing a samba? How about a little waltzing? Fuck, even line dancing is better than this crap.

  8. August 31, 2009

    They laughed and mocked Elaine Benes when she did this dance on Seinfeld. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xi4O1yi6b0) Harumph.

    My favourite part of this one is when she tries to eat the turtleneck off her sweater. I think it symbolizes her desire to eat turtles, turtles rah, rah rah.

    I did, however, enjoy the interpretation of Something Stupid. That was kind of cool

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