Gotta dance

We have tried to sell Mookie on the idea of Singin’ in the Rain before. She wasn’t interested, despite having seen at age three, and been highly amused by, “Make ‘Em Laugh” the number where Donald O’Connor dances up the wall (and then tries it with the wall of a set and breaks right through). Her taste in movies has broadened recently, though. She willingly watched a black and white movie, Charlie Chaplain’s The Kid, despite her previous professed scorn for movies without color. Ed Wood, of all things, seems to have been what swayed her on that point. She refers to it as “the octopus movie” after one of Wood’s most glorious splicings-in of stock footage. The child has always been a Tim Burton fan.

She’s also reluctant to see movies that aren’t animated, so even though Singin’ in the Rain is in color, it has that pesky live action against it. But I’ve wanted to watch it again for ages and finally bought it yesterday, and may have stirred up her enthusiasm for it by telling her to go show it to Mommy because she’d be really excited. Mookie ran downstairs saying, “Mommy, look!” so how could she herself not want to watch it after that? In any case, she was willing to see it tonight.

She laughed constantly through “Make ‘Em Laugh,” and kept her eyes on the screen from the start of the movie, which I’d feared might lose her with humor that went over her head, e.g., “we were trained in the finest theater productions”–cut to Amateur Night. (She recognizes when someone is being “sartastic,” though, so she probably got most of it.)

We stopped halfway through, and with a little time left before bed, she said, “Watching that movie makes me feel like dancing!” (Mama grins to herself and thinks, “Score!”) She changed into appropriate clothes–silver “high heeled” sandals, a velvet ballroom gown and a flower in her hair, and eye shadow–and asked me to put on music. What kind of music, I asked. Radio kind, she answered in a tone suggesting I wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree.

So I turned on the CD player with what it had in it, Keb’ Mo’, Mookie turned off the light so I could shine a spotlight, and she “tapped” and swirled solemnly. Somehow, tap dancing to the blues in ballroom dress fit exactly right.


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