Sometimes, you’ve just got to get them off your chest.
Tangled Up in Blue: A Bob Dylan Dance Concert
(or literally any other title, even Quinn the Eskimo)
Like, I know it’s been tried and failed as a Broadway musical, which was the original impulse–(I couldn’t stop thinking about a Dylan musical at rehearsal last night. I almost stopped breathing)–but dance is too human and elemental, too relatable and transcendent, too abstract and at the same time in-your-face to deny another go at it. (Hm…like Dylan himself?)
There would be every famous one. (I’ll save the word “iconic” because with Dylan that word can probably be taken literally).
There would be “Every Grain of Sand” with a graceful chorus of women background dancers and a soloist who interprets the soaring lines of the harmonica. A grungy “My Back Pages” (I don’t know?). An anguish-filled “You’re a Big Girl Now” with Martha Graham level agony. A writhing “Million-Dollar Bash.”
“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Masters of War,” “Farewell, Angelina”–all with their appropriate prefix relationship to the word apocalyptic. The last of these will also feature Valentino-type tangos. And maybe a sky that is on fire. I suspect that lighting will need to be overwhelmingly abundant.
Heart-songs and heartbreak songs, seduction, callousness, revery, “Moonlight,” and polished wood dance floors from a bygone age. Political tempo, cover artists, and spiritual wonder. Uprisings, deceptions, thrown pieces of pool chalk, “Chimes of Freedom,” scattered longings. Love songs without ideals or violence.
Maybe there would be an evolving program. “30 songs, 30 visions.” Every time you see it you get something new. Just like when you listen to the Master’s music–when you get home on an overcast fall day, open wide the windows, put on the record and sit back against the wall. Because when you placed the needle on the record, it sank into the grooves of your heart.
Now try to tell me there’s a person in this wide earth who wouldn’t come out for that!
Let me know if you want to collaborate, especially if you are a lighting designer. I’m almost not joking.