Day 870: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Well readers, I finally did it: I finished drafting the body chapters of the DOS-D. At around 3am on day 868.

The Elvis chapter ended up a little over 86 pages long (before notes), including 75 figures. I still believe there are too many images, but I’m going to deal with that later, when I start revising the chapter. For now, I’m grateful to have (barely) made it through. That last day was very rough; I had promised the chapter to my chair by January 18 but kept hitting walls when it came to dealing with Viva Las Vegas and beyond, let alone concluding the chapter. So, I spent January 18 not eating but working constantly, which meant that I only missed the deadline by about 3 hours.

viva-las-vegas-3

Elvis dancing for Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (1964), for which I struggled to find a good angle of analysis.

It took me a few days to recuperate, but here I am on the other side of it. Now it’s time to switch mental gears and shape the project as a whole: revisions. Luckily for me, all three members of my committee have read through and given me detailed feedback on each chapter as I’ve written them, so I will have a lot of guidance through my revision process. I know that I need to do more secondary reading/citation for the “cultural context” parts of the chapters, and clarify my central argument. This means more sign-posting and better conclusions to my major examples and sections. I anticipate needing to print out the full chapters for myself, spread them out on the floor, and edit by hand. I need to be able to see the flow of the thing. My apologies in advance to the trees who had to die for me to achieve this; I promise to recycle it all when I’m done. Speaking of promises…

I have promised a draft of my Introduction alongside revised versions of Chapters 1 & 2 to my chair by February 22. Thus, I gave myself mini-deadlines to reach that goal:

  • Complete Ch. 1 revisions (Nicholas Brothers) by Jan. 30
  • Complete Ch. 2 revisions (Gene Kelly) by Feb 8
  • Use the 2 weeks between Feb 8 & Feb 22 to write the Intro

I expect to receive feedback on Elvis around Feb 22, and feedback on the Intro + revisions by St. Patrick’s day. I am due to submit the entire manuscript to my committee on March 29.

AHHHHH, it’s all so much. But I’m told this is just how the ‘final push’ tends to go. It’s a lot, but I can do it—I have to. March 29 really isn’t so far away…less than 10 weeks. Just 67 days. I have a lot of ground to cover, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This might mean that I check in here more often or less often; I’m not sure yet. But for now, the end is in sight and I just have to put my blinders on and charge forth!

Day 500! Time Management Fails; Starting 2nd Chapter

While I’ve been remiss in posting for a full three months this time, I was fortunate to remember about my little ol’ dissertation blog JUST IN TIME for DAY 500!  (Although, because I’m a night owl, this won’t actually be posted until the wee hours of day 501 but SHHHH—And yes, I know the reference that comes to mind…I’ve never seen 500 Days of Summer, but something tells me the first 500 days of dissertation writing are 100% less interesting than that movie). So, where am I in the process? Well, I wrote zer0 (DOS-D) words last quarter, and squeezed in maybe 4 days of research, broadly conceived, from September to December. (Which is to say, the hopes and dreams I wrote about in October all came to naught.)

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What does ‘research, broadly conceived’ even mean?” The research I managed to conduct over the entirety of my extremely busy Fall quarter includes:

  • A search for and downloading of variously rare videos of the Nicholas Brothers dancing on film and television (complete with accurate file labeling!, which is harder than you might think with rare media objects)

    1935-fayard_harold_nicholas

    Harold & Fayard Nicholas in AN ALL-COLORED VAUDEVILLE SHOW (1935)

  • Some re-reading through key portions of Constance Valis Hill’s excellent dance-bio of the Nicholas Brothers, Brotherhood in Rhythm (and methodically cross-referencing my own knowledge of the brothers’ dance media with the list Hill provides in the back of her book, being careful to distinguish between what I deem the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ but similarly titled documentaries on them)
  • Attending a special screening+discussion of The Littlest Rebel (1935, featuring tap dancing by both Bill Robinson and little Shirley Temple), hosted by two of my mentors
  • A little revising of Chapter 2, including reshaping its opening anecdote and attempting to clarify its core argument, especially with an eye to its transition out of Chapter 1 (which hadn’t been written yet)

Annnnd that’s about it. How is this excessively low level of productivity over the course of 4 months even possible for someone who spends 3-4 (usually 4) days per week on campus AND who works most of every weekend? One word: Teaching. At this juncture in my experience as a baby academic, I honestly cannot comprehend how early career professors manage to teach 2+ courses per term AND publish articles AND work on their book AND serve on various committees AND attend conferences. I just flipped to an early week of November in my planner, and it involved a guest lecture, 15 student meetings, 2 summer course proposals drafted+submitted, a meeting to discuss previously submitted written reflections on positionality & power with my colleagues in our campus’ Teaching Certificate Program, reading and attending 2 lectures for the course I was Lead TA for, a meeting with the professor and fellow TAs for that course, and teaching 2 discussion sections. Now, bearing in mind that many of these obligations required the dreaded invisible labor of “prep time,” and that I also had other life obligations like attending colleagues’ presentation of their current projects, exercising, cooking and eating the odd meal with my partner, and of course laundry (which I find I’ve now mentioned at least 3 times in this blog about my dissertation…), it’s not entirely surprising that I didn’t get to my DOS-D at all that week. …or most weeks.

All of this being said, it’s simply a scholar’s reality that there is always too much to do in too little time. So, even as I successfully did a lot of non-dissy things last quarter, I still have to consider it an overall time management failure. I had to learn the hard way that teaching will eat up as much time as you let it. I managed many of the same responsibilities a few years ago when I also had a full courseload, so it must be the case that I managed my time a little better back then (although I distinctly remember sleeping much less, having no time to devote to a relationship, and eating 90% microwaved and otherwise prepackaged food).

Thus, one of my “resolutions” for this year, or at least this quarter, is to give over less time to teaching. It hasn’t worked particularly well so far, but I’ve also already put in more DOS-D work in the last week that I did all last quarter! I have:

  • Finished re-reading and re-annotating Brotherhood in Rhythm
  • Read several chapters of Jean & Marshall Stearns’ Jazz Dance, specifically tracking the essence of jazz dance develop through its prehistories in minstrelsy
  • FINALLY WROTE WORDS for my second chapter (Chapter 1) in the form of an introductory paragraph
  • Started my outline for the chapter
  • Jotted some basic notes about the current state of my anticipated central argument for the chapter

I’m now getting to the point, however, where I feel the need to start planning another visit to the archives…I want to get a stronger sense of the brothers’ choreographic process, and also of their reception, in order to parallel the depth of access I managed for myself in the previous chapter on Gene Kelly. We’ll see if I can find the time and funding to achieve such a visit…until then, I’ll have to depend on the various digital archives I can access online (mostly newspapers). I also need to keep in mind the fact that I told too much of a basic chronological (hi)story in my last chapter–I don’t want to make that mistake again, so I’m going to need to make sure my argument is more present and powerful in my writing this time around. I’m already feeling apprehensive about that, because I worry that my argument is too simple to really carry the weight of the whole history…but that’s a problem for later, I suppose.

In short, Day 500 finds me at the beginning of writing my 2nd chapter, emerging ever so slightly from a long bout of poor time management. And now, onwards~

Tactile Arguments

It’s been nearly a month since my last post so I figure I should check in.  I have two conference talks to give later this month, so those are becoming my primary focus going forward.  The good news: one of them is based on a dissertation chapter, so working on that talk = working on my DOS-D.  (The chapter in question is the Gene Kelly chapter–ergo this post’s primary image from The Pirate).  The bad news: the other talk has nothing to do with my dissertation.  That’s how it goes, though.  Not everything can be about this giant (future) tome looming over my head.

These conferences aside, I’ve spent the majority of the past month on three tasks:

  1. A thorough, annotated reading of Constance Valis Hill’s Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History up through the 1960s.  Many of Hill’s arguments are useful points of entry for my chapter on Gene Kelly.
  2. Watching a lotttt of Gene Kelly films.  I’m viewing as many as possible, and in chronological order, so that I have a general sense of how his onscreen dance style and presence morphed over the course of his career.  I’m flagging some for rewatches.  One of them is The Pirate (1948), which features not only Gene Kelly, but also the Nicholas Brothers.

    Gene Kelly joining the Nicholas brothers in one of their signature acrobatic dance sequences (from The Pirate)

    Gene Kelly joining the Nicholas brothers in one of their signature acrobatic dance sequences (from The Pirate).

  3. Getting my arguments out.  This has been tricky–I tend to get half-baked ideas at random moments, refuse to write them down because they’re only half-baked, and then regret it when I suddenly feel like I have no ideas at all.  It’s one thing to take notes on specific scenes in a film or a specific claim by another scholar; it’s another thing altogether to formulate, clarify, and articulate my own overarching arguments.  In short, I’m starting to have a lot of supporting thoughts but not enough main points.  SO, I’m trying to make my arguments tactile.  How so, you might ask?  Using index cards!
    Index cards = tactile arguments!  (Pay no attention to the box of Girl Scout cookies...)

    Index cards = tactile arguments! (Pay no attention to the box of Girl Scout cookies in the corner…)

    On one side of a card, I’ll write a keyword or three, and on the other side I’ll write a first draft of a sentence stating one of my general arguments for the chapter.  By writing them out instead of typing them into a document, I’m sidestepping the anxiety that comes with actually writing my dissertation, which I still feel a bit unprepared to do.  Hopefully, between these cards and the conference paper I’m putting together, I’ll have the guts to actually write the chapter in April, May, and June.

My cohort and I have been arranging monthly virtual meetings to check in on each other’s progress, and this has been helpful.  We troubleshoot each other’s problems, exchange archive stories, offer feedback on writing, etc.  It has been heartening to see that my colleagues are in roughly the same place I am: we’re all working on outlining or writing our first chapter, and about half of us still have research to wrap up before we can begin writing in earnest.  It still astounds me that every part of the process takes so much time!  Everything moved so much faster during coursework, but making long-term plans helps with the sense of interminability.

The X factor in all of my future DOS-D plans is my archive visits.  I’ve been contacting two archives via phone/email/in person but still haven’t made much headway on accessing what I need from them, which is worrisome.  When I return in April, I’ll also be ready to view the television episodes housed at various LA institutions, so hopefully that will be a little easier to arrange.

Well, onward!

Day 106: Digital Documents; Brick & Mortar Plans

Hello, long-lost readership (of 3)!  Happy 2015.  I’ve been remiss in posting, but slightly less remiss in holding myself accountable.

I’m working on completing the murky beginning phase of dissertation “prep” and trying to move into actual substantial writing by February.  Until now, I never really understood why it takes people so long to get into ‘the meat’ of actively productive research and writing, but for those of you watching at home, let me testify: there really is a lot of organizational and logistical junk that has to happen first.  It may be common knowledge that you have to research before you can write, but it’s less obvious that you have to figure out what, where, and how to research before you can even start researching proper.  In college and the first few years of graduate school, it was easy to simply follow in the footsteps of people who have already done the difficult initial research on a topic.  I’m now finding that it is much, much harder and far less intuitive when you’re the ‘trailblazer,’ as it were.  This is a good sign that you’re doing original work, of course, but it really goes quite slowly when there’s no blueprint for where (literally: where to travel for which collections) to begin and how to go about getting useful information.

Things achieved in the past 30-45 days (bearing in mind that the holidays were hardly very productive), some of which I mentioned briefly in the last post:

  1. I purchased and downloaded some writing productivity software, at the recommendation of friends and colleagues.  It’s called Scrivener, and so far I’m liking it; it’s organized enough to store all my research in an accessible way, as well as store actual dissertation notes/jottings/writing chunks that might not be ready for a big scary Word document yet.
  2. I collated a fairly exhaustive list of the television episodes I need to (attempt to) view from 1949 through about 1965 (with some later retrospectives for comparison).  These episodes all feature one or more of the dance stars I’ll probably be focusing on no matter what tweaks I make to structure.  (I’ve decided against bringing women back in–it’s just too much.  I’ll have to defend that decision in the introduction.)  There are about 50 essentials and another 20 usefuls…this may grow a bit more over time but it’s a solid start.  The list also includes information on where I can view most of these episodes (I haven’t yet tracked down some of them)–apparently, I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Paley Center this year.
    Part of the TV episodes list in Scrivener

    Part of my TV episodes list in Scrivener

    It’s hard for many of us to comprehend that not everything is floating around on the Internet in some sort of streaming or downloadable form, but much of early television (because it was actually live!) has either been lost or only saved on kinescopes of iffy quality.  Thus, assuming all goes according to plan (fingers crossed!), I’ll be one of the few people to have viewed these episodes since their original airing in the 40s/50s/60s.

  3. I’ve created two spreadsheets of archival collections I’d like to visit, one listing archives here in Los Angeles and the other listing archives elsewhere in the US.  These are mostly-paper collections containing studio memos, personal correspondence, newspaper clippings, contracts, and other ephemera that I’ll be trawling through in hopes of finding exactly what I need, without knowing exactly what that might be…until I find it.  The paper collections I need are proving much more difficult to track down than the TV episodes!  These spreadsheets are going to be continual works in progress.
  4. Per the suggestion of my chair, I’ve created a list of research questions to guide me through those archive visits.  I have questions intended for both the episode viewings and the paper hunts.  This way, I’ll have an idea of the questions I’m trying to answer even if I have no idea of what I’m physically looking for.  To make it feel more palpable, I printed it out today.  [I’ve lately suffered from feeling that I have nothing to show for myself these days because literally everything I ‘do’ for work is digital.]
  5. As part of an application for a summer seminar (which took up about a week of would-be dissertation time), I banged out a current DISSERTATION ABSTRACT.  I struggled with it for longer than I should have, but I think it will serve as a nice guide for me in the coming weeks.  I triumphantly printed this, too, today.  Now it’s real!

I am currently in the process of scheduling visits, requesting materials, etc. at various LA locations (my least favorite part), and will be focusing on more directly productive activities in the coming weeks: re-reading and/or reading for the first time some (more) key texts with which my DOS-D will be in conversation, drafting language, working on more detailed chapter outlines, etc.  Once I actually start finding useful stuff in the archives, I’ll add object analysis and start weaving it all together (I hope!).

Day 14: Completion of First “Work Module,” Followed by First Breakthrough

I’ve actually accomplished a surprising amount in the last two weeks.  I told myself I couldn’t write this blog post until I finished the ‘module’ of work I created for myself, so that I could coherently synthesize my thoughts on a range of related items, but I probably shouldn’t have waited this long.  Lesson learned.  Here’s a bunch of stuff.  The first 2/3rds is an in-depth rundown of my thoughts after the first “work module” I assigned myself, but that’s skippable if you’re more interested in the first major breakthrough that followed it.

One of the things my committee suggested during my defense is that I stop cleaving so desperately to the “postwar” era specifically and consider expanding my periodization to “mid-century” in order to give myself a bit more flexibility in my history-telling.  I immediately agreed with this idea in theory, but realized that in practice one of my weakest areas of historical knowledge between, say, the industrial revolution and the present, is the 1940s.  That late interwar period, those years leading up to WWII and even during it…I don’t have the most thorough grasp of exactly what the key social, political, and economic dynamics were, to say nothing of how they related to dance cultures or screen cultures of the time.  So I decided, by way of introduction, to take a look at a few 1940s texts that I suspect will be key for me and read my way around them, as it were:

  • I watched Cabin in the Sky (1943) and Stormy Weather (1943), both all-black-cast musicals starring Lena Horne and adapted from previous material (a Broadway musical in the former case [whose choreography was incidentally collaboratively created by George Balanchine & Katherine Dunham] and a story + song + Bill Robinson’s life in the latter).
  • I read Shane Vogel’s article “Performing ‘Stormy Weather’: Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Katherine Dunham”
  • I re-read the introduction and third chapter (“In the Shadow of War”) of Susan Manning’s Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion.  

The central figure through all of this, for me, anyway, is clearly black dancer & choreographer Katherine Dunham.  She’s also sort of the through-line for old versions of my dissertation, as she had a working relationship with both Maya Deren and Ruth Page, each of whom had chapters devoted to them once-upon-a-prospectus.

Dunham and her dancers in the 'abstract' dance scene of Stormy Weather.

Dunham and her dancers in the ‘abstract’ dance scene of Stormy Weather.

So, what were my thoughts? Because my chair is an expert in sound and music cultures, and because he strongly encouraged me to look for potential scholarly models in the existing work on music cultures’ mixture with screen cultures, I developed a habit while reading for exams: I’m always on the lookout for killer sentences in the music literature where I could simply replace the musical terms with dance terms and the sentence would be totally spot-on for my own argument.  I found one in the Vogel article:

[Interracial] collaborations made popular songs dance a rich sites for the sonic visual articulation and negotiation of dynamic social processes inaugurated by migration, immigration, and urbanization. (95)

Now, maybe this wasn’t true of all dance at the time, but definitely in the Broadway version of Cabin in the Sky.  Excellent.  Also, I have a feeling this isn’t unlike John Perpener’s position in African-American Concert Dance (2001), which I clearly need to read. I also found Vogel’s general reading of the film version of Stormy Weather compelling.  After including a nice little archival treat—an illustration of “the very public dispute between the studio and black classical composer William Grant Still” re: the stereotypical music to be used in the film, c/o The Chicago Defender, a primarily black paper—he offers up his own argument:

I want to suggest that Stormy Weather was more than just a nostalgic backward glance at a rapidly vanishing era of black performance. While it was this, some of the performances in the film manage to articulate a critique of the film’s conditions of aesthetic possibility and can be seen as a reflection on the fraught historical trajectory of black American performance and white spectatorship. (105)
This makes a lot of sense to me, and helps to explain why the 1940s represented a bit of a gap in my brain.  If minstrelsy started disappearing from live stages in the ’20s, and was relegated mainly to cartoons and musicals in the ’30s, something had to be happening onscreen in the 1940s, in the absence of actual minstrelsy, that was a prelude to the phenomenon of Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley in the ’50s (Krin Gabbard argues that Brando “may have been the first American actor to practice minstrelsy in whiteface”).  Maybe that ‘something’ of the ’40s was a moment of black critical performance. Vogel’s main vehicle for this argument is—surprise!—Katherine Dunham.  Some key quotes around that:
Dunham’s performance marks a choreographic contradiction within the film between the history of stereotyped minstrel dance and the emergence of modern Negro dance. (107)
Dunham’s kinesthetic rewriting of “Stormy Weather” situates the song and its racial inscription within a diasporic rather than a national horizon. (107)
This abstract representation of stormy weather undoes the suffocating aesthetics of literalism that governed black performance, made all the more totalizing in the age of cinema. (106)
Then, on the more technical side (note to self: good surface-level movement analysis):
As Dunham’s formal modern ballet softens gradually by the end of “Stormy Weather” into more fluent movements centered on the pelvis and a relaxed upper body, we see—as homage, as critique, as citation—traces of vernacular black dance. (108)
Some dancers, arms raised and bent at the elbow, do a stylized version of the shimmy, transforming for the concert stage the upper-body movement that Ethel Waters was known for doing on the saloon stage. What was imagined as a stereotypical association of physicality and naturalness in black performance is revealed instead by Dunham’s choreography to be the product of technical precision and put into syncretic conversation with European dance traditions. (108-109)
And finally, driving it home:
In short, Dunham and her troupe, occupying the role originally held by the Cotton Club’s chorus girls, offered a modernist revision of the racial aesthetic of the black nightclub tradition and restaged the history of black performance. (109)
Ah, Shane Vogel, you never disappoint.  So, as I was reading this, of course nodding a vigorous “yes” at his arguments, I remembered that there’s a very detailed analysis of this very period of Dunham’s stage work in Manning’s book.  So, I ran off to re-read that.  There’s a great deal going on there, and it’s not concerned with the screens at all, but it was a very useful re-read with some new take-aways:
  • In her introduction, Manning keeps mentioning “divided historiography,” which is a nice, clean moniker for a certain tendency in dance history before the 1990s to write histories of African-American concert dance and modern (+ postmodern) dance separately.  But, perhaps more importantly, the recent “more inclusive histories obscure the extent to which modern dance and Negro dance remained conceptually distinct, yet mutually constitutive, categories at midcentury” (xxiii).  Manning’s point here, which is a pretty brilliant one, is not simply that all American dance is a complex intertwining of cultural influences and we should acknowledge it as such, which plenty of smart scholars have now illustrated in various ways; it’s that “spectators at midcentury could not perceive the intercultural fusions that now seem so apparent,” particularly in “modern dance” and “Negro dance” of the period (xxiv).  One of the key questions her book interrogates is why.  She illustrates the cultural landscape & dance spectatorship backdrop over the course of the book, but I think this is going to be a key question for me, in relation to dance on screen spectatorship, as well.  I wonder how my answer will differ from Manning’s.
  • What’s ‘new’ about Katherine Dunham is that she choreographs and performs a newly diasporic understanding of African-American experience.  A lot of this is due to her education in anthropology.  She wasn’t the only one to deal with diaspora, of course—Pearl Primus did so as well, but Manning characterized her approach as a “more fragmented vision of African-American life, juxtaposing African dances with dances of social protest and dances set to spirituals, blues, jazz, and experimental music” (172).  Primus, for example, had a famous piece called “Strange Fruit,” whereas Dunham’s works were more concerned with what Paul Gilroy would call the Black Atlantic.  This, along with a clear preference for the abstract expressivity of “modern dance,” may have something to do with why a dance critic like John Martin seemed to see Primus as more of a “modern” dancer than Dunham. (See Manning’s analysis on 167)
  • This is more of a note to self than a take-home point, but there are numerous mentions in Manning’s third chapter of the activist approach Dunham would take when touring her company around the U.S.  More than once, her reception (especially in the South) was troubling.  It would be interesting for me to compare this live reception with her film’s reception, if Stormy Weather was even played in southern white theaters.  I could compare the reception of Stormy Weather with Dunham’s touring in Louisville, for example, in 1944.  (See Manning 125)

The final thing that happened while I worked my way through my module was the reminder that there’s always more to view, more to read.  I think this will become commonplace in my blog posts—I am now going to list (mainly for myself) the items I discovered which future me is going to want to examine.

FilmsCarnival of Rhythm (1941) [I think it’s based on a suite of dances performed at the Windsor Theatre in 1940 called Island Songs, which starred Dunham, Talley Beatty, and Archie Savage, apparently like the film]; Star Spangled Rhythm (1943)

Archived Periodicals: Dance Observer; Dance Magazine; American Dance[r]; Dance; [The Nation & The New Republic?]

Secondary Sources: John O. Perpener’s African-American Concert Dance: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond; Julia L. Foulkes’s Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey; VèVè Clark’s Kaiso!: Writings by and about Katherine Dunham

And now, the breakthrough. It all started with a conversation with my mom, as so many great breakthroughs do for me.  I’d been doing some work on Ruth Page for the Chicago Film Archives and was commenting, especially in light of my committee’s recommendation that I remove that chapter from my DOS-D, that someone really should write an academic book about Page because her career represents a fascinating story of risk-taking, success, experimenting, and firsts.  “First” feminist ballet, (one of the) “first” times Nureyev danced in the US post-defection, “first” person to conduct ethnographic dance study (using film!) abroad for the purposes of adapting it here in the U.S., “first” and probably only big-name choreographer to see that most of her repertoire be recorded on film, etc. etc.  Discussing it with Mumzot (why she puts up with that nickname I don’t know) helped me realize something: I should be the one to write it.  It would be a book not just about Page and her function as this rich hub in American dance that for some reason has slipped largely under the radar, but also about women and technology and useful cinema and the dance company film.

And then I thought: Oh my gods, this would be a great second book.  Which then helped me figure out what my first book (read: DOS-D) should be about: masculinity.  Funnily enough, I already had a document sitting on my desktop entitled “SECOND BOOK,” and in it was the (very) rough outline of this very book about masculinity, race, and dance on screen at midcentury.  So then I said to myself: “Shit, Pam, this isn’t your second book at all; this is your dissertation!”  Ta-daaaaa!

SO.  The breakthrough is a lovely scholarly progression to be made.  DOS-D/first book = masculinity, race, dance on the commercial screen.  Second book = feminist ballet, women & cinematic technologies, dance on the non-commercial screen.  And there we have it.  Much excitement!

Next questions, then: Which dudes? What periodization? Structured how? Current list of possible dudes to be included:

Fred Astaire
Bill Robinson
Gene Kelly
The Nicholas Brothers
Elvis Presley

Donald McKayle
Talley Beatty
Merce Cunningham?

I feel like Cunningham is more properly saved for later.  (Maybe my third book can be on Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, and their dance/screen combos…hahahaha that’s a good 15 years away, Pam).  And Beatty, while interesting, doesn’t have that much of a screen presence, really…  That leaves 6.  Still too many; better think on it.

Well, reader, that concludes today’s epic blog post.  Obviously I need to post more often to prevent behemoths such as this.  Congratulations if you made it all the way to the end.  Until next time~