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A Review in Rhyme: 100 Years of the History of Dance

Friday 20 September 2019


One of our regular patrons, Gordon Dunlop, reviews (albeit a rhyming one) 100 Years of the History of Dance.

100 Years of Dance's Best

Compressed into an hour's a Test

A Test that Jacob Passed

With Flying Colours - What a Blast!


100 Years of Dance’s History

Crammed into one hour? It’s no mystery -

Joseph Simons’ dance biography

As Jacob schoolboy - his story-ography

Of twentieth century choreography,

Titles, few props and photography,

Film, few costumes, once just jocks,

Endearing schoolboy shorts, long socks,

And Martha Graham’s stretch material

(“Lamentation” looked funereal),

Rudolf’s tights - no intermission

For an hour - compare Jo’s mission -

Anecdotes and dance ability,

Flexibility and agility,

Enthusiasm, joy, sheer rapture.

There wasn’t much they didn’t capture.

History, his story, stacks of styles,

Producing laughter, thrills and smiles,

Comprehensive and eclectic,

Rapid-fire, inspiring, hectic,

Trying to fit in every topic,

Clever, clear, kaleidoscopic,

Stories, biogs, anecdotes,

Amusing details, sad foot notes,

Tributes, obits (deaths from AIDS),

This Jacob Jack of all their trades -

Nureyev, Fosse and his hats,

Abdul, Lloyd, Gill Lynne of  “Cats”,

Pioneers of dance, Nijinsky,

Faun and Firebird (of Stravinsky),

Pina, Martha, Merce and Gene,

Ballet, musicals, stage and screen,

Disco, pop and avant-garde,

Every form with warm regard,

Not to mention dancing skills

To top Terpischorean thrills,

To, through this choreographic prism -

Influence or plagiarism -

Touch the theme of Jacob’s ambitions,

Are they just pipe dreams, wistful wishin’s?

What will be his legacy

Or gift to choreography?

Jacob’s character’s sweet and gay.

No inhibitions, joy-filled, fey,

But what a talent shared with Joseph,

Ecstatic, rapturous, explosive.

Their love of dance is so infectious.

You soon forget they’re giving lectures.

An Energetic Group Finale

To follow on from Bennett’s Vale

Is quite a climax to the show.

No need to get up for Bravo

For we were all participating,

Dancing, who was hesitating?

Laughing, losing inhibition,

Participation, not audition.

No experience was required,

For Jacob/Joseph so inspired,

Us all to rise, participation

Became a standing Dance ovation.

Though dance ability’s what I lack -

I’ve never really had the knack -

This show by Joseph Simons racks

Up one more stunner - that’s the FAC’s.


By Gordon Dunlop

2 September 2019


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