Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Story is Everywhere

I realize I've been waxing perhaps a little too profound in my last few posts on story structure. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing--I find it helpful for my own craft to analyze structure below the surface level. But what remains important for me is to not feel beholden to the structure. Structure is meant to be manipulated and defied; rules are meant to be broken (at least when it comes to writing). But in order to manipulate, defy, and break the rules effectively, knowing what they are beforehand is essential. So, basically, that's what I'm doing with this particular blog series: getting to know the rules a little better. ("Why hello, rules, the pleasure is all mine.")

That said, I can sometimes get carried away. So, today, something a bit lighter.

I danced with Trevor Guthrie some time ago on the BYU Ballroom Dance Company. We only were on a team together for a year, but he was a cool guy and a great dancer. Well, for the past three years, he and Sydney Jensen have won the National Amateur Dancesport Cabaret competition at the BYU National Dancesport Championships. So, yeah, they're really great dancers. They recently made a video re-make of the dance that they first won with in 2012. Check it out:

Pretty awesome. Not as cool as the first time they won nationals with it in front of a crowd*, because, you know, audience and context really make performance art what it is. But still, this video is great, and very well done. (Also, a shout out to Curt Holman, the choreographer, an amazing guy and dance director with freaking awesome choreography, and to Ingrid Michaelson and this song, which is a really really great song.)

Anyway, the point is this: I can totally see story and progression in this dance. In the song, in the choreography, in the emotions of the dancers. The Hero's Journey, the Virgin's Promise, even Dan Harmon's eight points are all here. I won't go into detail on exactly what, because this post is supposed to be short and sweet and I've already said too much. But, basically:

story is everywhere.

* Of course I'll post a link. Here's their national competition-winning performance from 2012:

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