The way they move moves me so.
I am not a student of the dance (ask my former ballroom dance instructor) so I cannot annotate the various gestures and motives that Erin Morris and Nathan Bugh so sweetly and nimbly offer us on their exploration of MY DADDY ROCKS ME — performed with the James Dapogny Quartet.
I know it’s hard work to look so casual. But for me, while I am admiring their hilarious slinky grace, their obvious joy in movement, I see an entire emotional drama, the subtle shifts that take place within and through a pairing, the way two individuals become a couple, echoing, mimicking, mirroring, delighting. This too-brief interlude seems a novel without pages, an opera without words. A play about play. Visual and mobile purring.
Details? MY DADDY ROCKS ME (J. Bernie Barbour; arr James Dapogny) – Erin Morris (dance), Nathan Bugh (dance), Mike Karoub (cello), James Dapogny (piano), Rod McDonald (guitar), Joe Fee (bass). Improvised social dance from Erin Morris & Her Ragdolls’ JASSAFRASS show. College Theater, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 8, 2015. Filmed by Laura Beth Wyman.
I find it also very touching that this dear interlude is described as “Improvised social dance,” for isn’t that what we are doing every moment of our lives on the planet? If only we could perform our various curlicues with as much grace as Erin and Nathan do here, this world would blissfully swing, and grinning would be the rule rather than the exception. I hail them — and James, Rod, Mike, and Joe — as uncredentialed spiritual teachers — the best ones, teaching us by example that existence is too gorgeously large to be put in to words.
Parenthetically, a friend affectionately needled me, “Hey, Michael, JAZZ LIVES is becoming the Official Erin Morris Lovefest Site, isn’t it?” And I immediately said, “Wow, you say the nicest things!”
As a postscript, a laginappe, an amuse-bouche or what you will, here’s everybody’s rollicking get-off-the-stage to music adapted liberally from a Fats Waller song:
The Felons of Swing, in addition to the Band, are Erin Morris (dance/choreography), Nathan Bugh, Brittany Armstrong-Morton, Sarah Campbell, Rachel Bomphray, Hayden Nickel.
May your happiness increase!