by Jon Mulhearn for The Dance Journal
APRIL 1, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, PA – An outcry has arisen over the recent ruling that dancing will temporarily be banned in Philadelphia. According to the ban, dancing is defined as “any theatrical performance relating to dance and the expression of one’s own emotions through movement.”
The ruling came as a result of political quarreling over NEA funding. As budget cuts continue to wreak havoc on government-funded programs, the upcoming Presidential Elections have only made matters worse.
“We have very little money to begin with, “ admitted a government official wishing to remain anonymous, “and the money we’ve poured into dance and the arts is out of control. So we needed to take a step back and reassess the situation. And honestly, we’re afraid that if Rick Santorum gets elected President, he’ll have us putting all of our money into the arts. And we just can’t have him doing that.”
Those against the new ban, however, are finding clever ways to exploit loop-holes. Gary K. of Broad Street, a native of North Philadelphia (wishing to remain anonymous), held a rally in opposition to the new ban outside of his home yesterday.
“The new ban says we can’t express our own emotions,” Gary K. yelled through a megaphone, “so why don’t we just express each other’s emotion’s?!” His lack of rhetorical eloquence resulted in little to no reaction from the gathering of his three neighbors, despite the battements he repeatedly performed to get his point across.
“I think [Gary’s] idea is dangerous,” says Marsha L. of North Philadelphia. “My brother thought about that loop-hole before Gary did and he went crazy trying to express other people’s emotions.” Upon further questioning, Marsha revealed that her brother “literally went insane. He’s on medication now trying to cope with other people’s experiences.”
Police reprimanded a small child early Friday morning after being seen pirouetting at her school bus stop. The parents were quoted speaking out in support of the police, saying “It’s disgusting, and it must stop now. If this is what it takes to stop this craziness, then this is what we must do.”
“It’s tragic, really,” says Officer Seamus McDoogallsson, “that this has been allowed to go on for so long.” Officer McDoogallsson was involved in a raid earlier this year that resulted in the arrest of 9 professional dancers in what has been termed as “The Raid of the Last Dance.”
“We stormed into the building and there they were,” recounts Officer McDougallsson, “dancing in front of people who had no idea what they were trying to express. It’s dangerous, just downright dangerous. The human imagination is a terrible weapon and if it’s left to wander too freely, you can get horrific results. Look at modern art. It bends your mind. And next thing you know, you’re dressing like a hipster and dealing with a superiority complex.”
The new ban is expected to take full effect within the next few weeks. But what will this mean for the dance companies that have bloomed in Philadelphia under it’s artistic freedom and collaboration? Only time will tell, but until then, make sure you know who’s watching next time you start boppin’ to the beat of your favorite tunes.