Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

I went out to work and felt terrible about a change of schedule.  I was glad to leave, and I stopped for a cheeseburger on the way to the theatre.  I saw “Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan.”  It was a documentary about the ballerina.  We see her dealing with an injury.  I’m not sure that we had to see the incision of the surgery.  I felt almost like I was going to be sick watching it.  I had to wonder if Whelan wasn’t living in an unreal and insulated world for those thirty years.  I wanted to stop and talk to her choreographers to set a sense of what they were made of.  I thought there a few too many shots of the other dancers peering in on rehearsals, expressing curiosity and awe.  There were comparisons with a dancer and an athlete.  They go to the same doctors, and their careers are limited in length.  I don’t see too many 47-year-old baseball players.  I think you have to question whether the people on the screen were very conscious of the presence of the camera.  I suddenly thought of “When You’re Young.”  If you want to see a movie about dancing, you can take a look at “The Red Shoes” or “The Turning Point” or “All That Jazz.”  This is a movie that you can add to the list.  I didn’t find the dancing very exciting, but what I really felt was the sadness about the passage of time, the inevitable decline in your physical skills, and having to face the end.  I found the movie exhausting.  The thought of going through surgery and dealing with pain wore me down.  One of the reasons I felt sad watching all of us is that I’m not too far from Whelan’s age.  She had her farewell performance, while I’m still working at what I do.  Seeing this movie made me think about how rare real talent is.  None of those dancers standing around admiring Whelan were going to reach those heights.  You have to do more than work hard.  You have to have something inside that separates you from everyone else.  It’s too bad that the career of a dancer is over by age 47.  In some other performance arts, a person can continue.  I left the theatre and went over to the record store, where I bought the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “High and Low.”  I heard about the death of Glenne Headly, who was Tess Trueheart in “Dick Tracy” with Warren Beatty.  I saw “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” but did not remember her in it.  I watched the Warriors game against the Cavaliers.  When you give up 49 points in the first quarter, and 86 points in the first half, it’s not just the referees’ calls that are going the wrong way.  I watched the Partridge Family episode “Danny Drops Out.”  In one scene, the family is having apple pie, but Laurie isn’t eating any of it.  During this fourth season, Keith’s hair and Danny’s hair are out of control, while Laurie’s is cut and styled.  Some of the people who died on June 10 include Spencer Tracy (1967), William Inge (1973), Richard Quine (1989), Jo Van Fleet (1996), John McKay (2001), and Ray Charles (2004).  Today is a birthday for Elizabeth Hurley (52) and Gina Gershon (54).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 10, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reached Number One on the singles chart with “You’re the One That I Want” in 1978.  In 1988, “Poltergeist III” was released.  In 1991, Eddie Kendricks was arrested for missing child support payments while he was attending David Ruffin’s funeral in Detroit.  In 2007, the last episode of “The Sopranos” was aired on HBO.

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