Almost Like Being In Love -- When I Dance With You
Posted on: 1st March 2013 16:06:01



Welcome to the March 2013 Edition!

It's St. Patrick’s Day and Easter 2013 at Movies and Music!

Judging by the calendar St Patrick’s Day and Easter are celebrated this month.  Therefore, we have come to a fork in the Road to Reminiscence.


Traveling in a northeasterly direction we find Scotland and the magic of Brigadoon.  Traveling in a similar direction from our home base of Florida we land feet first “on the avenue – 5th avenue” for the Easter Parade.


These films are great companions.  They provide great insights into social behavior, etiquette, dating, flirting which can help students understand proper relationships and open grandma’s memory and encourages her to share.


What young lady wouldn’t want to be romanced by Gene Kelly  (Its Almost Like Being in Love), or dance with Fred Astaire, (It Only Happens When I Dance with You)? 


What gentleman wouldn’t want lessons in romance from these men? For them, as for all lovers in the classic movie musical, it’s not about the end game, (the kiss or the sex), it is about the pursuit, the chase the courtship.   For Kelly it is a simple walk through the heather holding hands and dancing with Cyd Charisse that tells him he’s in love.   Astaire, on the other hand, requires assistance from Garland to realize his true love does not live in the high-brow snobbery of the beautiful yet conceited Nadine, but in the simple charms of a farm girl from Michigan – Hannah Brown!   When she sings, I Love A Piano and It Only Happens When I Dance with You he is hooked. (”Why didn’t you tell me I was in love with you”?)


What a great way to talk with Grandma; “Who was the aggressor in your relationship with Grandpa?” “Who made the first move?”  “Was it love at first sight (as it was for Kelly and Charisse)? “Who needed coaxing?” (Grandpa, as Astaire from Garland), or you?” ” Great stories will come out here.


In examining these scenes and others like them, (Fella with the Umbrella, I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean), with your students talk about the men’s attitude toward women. What do they think of them as the film begins? How do their attitudes change as the film progresses?


In Brigadoon we find Charlie, who is about to wed “bonnie” Jean discussing his dalliances with other men’s wives, “Hello to married men I've known; I'll soon have a wife an' leave yours alone”.  In Easter Parade we find Johnny adding Hannah’s name to others in his “little black book”.    When comparing these characters,  are they similar/different? How do their circumstances change them and what affect do they have on the people around them?   This may be a discussion  that will last long into April.


These films are great opportunities to see the strength of women.  Whether  they are coping with loss and the prospect a life lived alone , “I’ll be less lonely now.. real loneliness is not being in love in vain, but not being in love at all”. (Fiona in Brigadoon) or fight to prove her worth in a business ruled by men. “I’ve been trying to what? ..I told you I wouldn’t look good with the (feathers)…you told me to move like that!”  (Hannah in Easter Parade).  With that she puts Astaire in his place and makes him realize what he’s been missing!



Strong women, interesting men, new discussion topics for students and great reminiscences for the older generation make Brigadoon and Easter Parade great films for lively discussions all month long!



Happy St Patrick’s Day!


Happy  Easter!







PS: With two holidays in the same month Movies and Music will not bring you a new blog for April. Instead we will be spending our time getting ready for the National Association of Activity Professionals Convention in Las Vegas   April 24-27thSee you there!





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