|Annette Funicello may be dead, but that does not give her|
the right to star in this week's Dance Party.
But as I sat down to compose this entry, I realized that I had already written a piece on Annette and the Beach Party film genre, and really had nothing more to say. Go here for that Dance Party, which I wrote in the dead of winter a few years ago, when everybody was dreaming of the beach.
|I have resisted the temptation to present a musical number from Disney's Babes in Toyland. You're welcome.|
To start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), in 1984 Thatcher began the process of disposing of state run mining interests, closing many mines and selling off many more to the private sector. Mining unions called a strike, which caused massive unemployment and misery in England's mining towns.
|The right honourable MP from Hampstead and Kilburn, the artist formerly known as Glenda Jackson, went viral this week with her condemnation of Thatcherism, which crippled her districts and others in the 1980s.|
|She may have devastated large portions of her constituency, but she didn't stop there. Her deregulation of the financial sector is a direct antecedent to the current economic crisis which has engulfed the globe.|
|Lads don't do ballet. But this one did.|
The film Billy Elliot depicts the effects of Thatcher's policy on a community in northern England. Released in 2000, the indie film became an unexpected international hit. Several years later, the film's director and writer teamed up with Elton John, whose score to The Lion King convinced people that he was a composer of musicals.
Billy Elliot the musical was a big hit in London in 2005 (it's still running) and when it hit Broadway, it swept the Tony Awards.
Incidentally, Billy Elliot's score features a comic number called "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher," in which the desperately poor look hopefully for the day of the woman's death.
|This Act II opener caused some trouble this week for the London production of Billy Elliot. Thatcher's death forced a vote at the theatre: did the audience want to hear this number, in which everyone longs for Maggie's death?|
This week's clip comes from the show's presentation at the Tonys. The number is simply called "Angry Dance," and it surely is one (the original film contains a similar sequence).
|Jamie Bell played Billy in the film. It's not easy for a bloke|
to be tough with ballet slippers around his neck.
It's pretty unusual, in my experience, to see a dance number which expresses anger, as dance usually depicts a joyful emotion. But this kid is certainly emoting all over the place.
|I have never seen this stage version.|
You'll have to forgive the bumbling introduction which Elton John gives the piece; clearly he's not used to performing in front of a live audience.
And if you listen carefully, amidst the cacophony of the number, you'll hear the Iron Lady's voice. So, enjoy this raucous number from Billy Elliot; without Margaret Thatcher, we never would have seen it!