Another opening


by John Munger | 7/31/09 • After over 40 years in the professional dance business you’d think someone would get tired of doing this arduous and monetarily unrewarding work. But somehow I keep needing to do this much as I need to continue breathing. It’s not the sort of thing where I’m capable of saying, “Been there, done that” and walk away.

My Fringe show, entitled “My Body Made Me Do This” opened last night at the Ritz Theater to a supportive audience of (I guesstimate) about 50. Not bad. This is a collaboration with my wife, Sharon Varosh, who choreographed two of the pieces and did hard work on production tasks like printing up programmes, designing a postcard, and endless other little or big tasks.

going through the movements is the blog of john munger, one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.

What’s it like?

With seventeen men and women of widely varying ages backstage it’s a crowded half hour before the show starts. I take care of my own props and costumes. I slyly avoid eye-contact with other people who might ask me questions or require decisions. The time comes and we launch the first piece, a hot jazz trio. I’m next with a solo entitled “Wrath.” I never even notice the trio because I’m in the wings cranking myself up.

I have a cheat-sheet with the show order next to my costumes. In the heat of things I can’t even remember the order of my own show. Between some pieces (but not others) I do little chit-chats over a live mic with the audience. If I screw up the order I will cause a minor but painfully visible little train-wreck. The cheat sheet is a crucial precaution.

People in the audience laugh, giggle, chuckle and guffaw throughout Sharon’s closing extravaganza entitled “Hippo: The Ballet.” I’m so grateful. It’s a goofy piece but done with the dead serious attention to detail that true comedy requires. Sharon and her fantastic cast deserve all the delight they got from the audience.

We bow as a rag-tag lineup. Is it over so soon? Is that the first of five and there are only four more to go? Will we remember this one especially in some way that cannot yet be discerned? I once heard that happiness is usually remembered afterwards rather than experienced in the moment.

Uh…how soon do we start work on the next show?

NOTE: This blog does not reflect the opinions or policies of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Dance/USA, nor anyone other than the author. These are purely and utterly my own observations and views.

John Munger ( has been performing, teaching, choreographing, researching and writing about dance for about 40 years. He teaches at Zenon, day-jobs for Dance/USA, and still hasn’t gotten much of it right.

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