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Thursday, August 31, 2006  


As the new television season approaches, I am looking forward to the dance programs that have recently captivated large viewing and voting audiences. There is a part of it, however, that I dread. It's a pet peeve of mine, which, at times, annoys me to the point of complete meltdown. I just want to know who in the world has told television directors that it makes viewing dance more exciting when you do a lot of close-ups with quick cuts and long distance overhead shots? Dance is a full-body sport, when being judged, includes the movement and coordination of the whole body. Television directors could take a lesson from Fred Astaire, who understood that one cannot appreciate dance when the camera is focused on the face or the feet of the dancer. One need only to view the Fred/Ginger dance masterpieces to realize that there were never any closeups. It isn't only the feet or the face that is dancing, it is the whole body. And shooting dance from the side is just not understanding the concept at all. If you were a member of the live audience and could only see the dance from the side view, that would be considered a bad seat. So is a long shot from the balcony. And who cares what the audience looks like when someone is dancing on stage. The MTV mentality and short attention span of its viewers has duped television directors into thinking that quick cuts that do not synchronize with the music make it more exciting for the viewer. In fact, it has the opposite effect. It is not only distracting, it is most annoying.

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