Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is Tap Dance the Yiddish of the Dance World?

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Yes! Obituaries for Either are Premature

At "Dance Under the Influence," the marvelous "feast" -- "The New York Times" called it that -- the audience was invited to ask questions of the performers afterward. One woman asked Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards and Jared Grimes, the evening's tap-dancing duo, whether they worried about the tap's future. The way the audience-member asked the question, it reminded me of similar hand-wringing I've heard around the future of Yiddish. Dormeshia answered the question and her response was similar to mine about Yiddish, which was that it's hard to dignify such a question with a response, rich as the art-form and language both are.

Still, a week later, I must have been slightly haunted by the question, as I was playing randomly in Pinterest, and I decided to create a board called, "Yiddish words & phrased I picked up through listening to my parents' conversations." Here are the first five I've posted on the board so far, and which I heard either fairly often, or memorably; I've translated them based on my parents' explanations when I'd ask, and am spelling them out phonetically, with the disclaimer that I have no idea how to spell them correctly, using either Hebrew or English characters:

No comments: