Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Becky G brings summer

A friend lamented to me she had no official song of summer.  My summer can be wrapped up in a tune by Ms. Becky G, called "Shower."  I like the beat and how the callback in the chorus reminds me of 80s tunes by Martika.  My runner-up song of summer would be "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX.  Talk about 80s!  Though I wish it was called "Boom Crash."  "Boom Clap" makes me think someone suddenly got gonorrhea.

You may be wondering why I posted "Becky from the Block" instead of "Shower."  The reasons are as follows:
  • "Becky from the Block" gets down.
  • It's filmed in Inglewood, California.
  • There's a surprise at the end.
  • "Shower" is a dull video (filmed in an Eichler) with repeated product placements for Cover Girl.  No likey.

To recap, my girl of summer is Becky G.  I like her spunk, her fashions, and how she reps Chicanas and Inglewood.  I hope she stays true to her roots, doesn't allow herself to become too overproduced, and lets her talent speak for itself.  The last time I hoped young talent would prosper it was Justin Bieber and we know how that turned out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What happened to A Very Young Dancer, Stephanie?

I've been watching the online episodes of Strictly Ballet on Teen Vogue.  I've never been a dancer (my Beijing opera teacher was particularly horrified by the clumsy way I move), but something about their culture fascinates me.  I appreciate how ballet is art come to life, and dancers' relentless drive to make their bodies do what they want.  In this vain, I loved the documentary about ballet students, First Position (2012) and the controversial Oscar winner, Black Swan (2010).

My first foray into the world of ballet came by way of Jill Krementz's photo essay book, A Very Young Dancer (1976).  The book follows Stephanie, a student at the School of American Ballet, as she practices and performs as Marie in The Nutcracker.  I repeatedly signed out the over-sized book from my school library and escaped into the romantic world of ballet in high energy New York City.  I always wondered what happened to Stephanie as an adult.

The New York Times tracked down Stephanie in 2011.  The former ballet student, now living in Wyoming, gave a candid interview about what followed A Very Young Dancer.  The article is a must-read for fans of Jill Krementz's photo essay book.

Photos via The New York Times (Lynn Donaldson), Delightful Children's Books, and Teen Vogue