“Those who can’t do”, cries Jen Childs, “mock!” As a child Jen played the flute, but she always dreamed of ‘the dance’. Her female cousins were very good dancers, both being long, limber and lithe. Jen was tres short and a bit wide around the buttocks.
Poor Jen’s physical characteristics mitigated against a career on pointe. She found her calling in comedy. In this 70 minute tour de force, she mocks not only her stuck up, snotty cousins but herself as well. While ‘the dance’ is the driver in this original production, the title is a metaphor for anyone who has aspired to greatness in a field where greatness was never to be.
Childs studied with several Philadelphia dancers and choreographers who work in a potpourri of styles. She took to the studio to study basic ballet, hip hop, Broadway jazz, modern and finally improvisational dance. “Each”, she states, “have a special place in my story and a different type of fear connected with them.”
She gamely attempts all of them, but Aisle Say suggests most emphatically she hang up her ballet shoes for good after the run of the show. Of course it was all in fun, 1812 Productions being a strictly comedy house, but Childs displayed most precision with hip hop. At the end of the day, it’s not the fear that’s extraordinary, it’s what you do about it.
WHY I’M SCARED OF DANCE
A One-Woman Show
Written, Acted and ‘Danced’ by Jen Childs
Through October 31, 2010
at Plays and Players Theatre
1714 Delancey St