Join us this weekend for the continuing Summer of Dance!
We’re working with the Ordway, Saint Paul Public Library, Landmark Center and other partners to produce a FREE, Outdoor Summer Dance Series with support from Saint Paul Cultural STAR and the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Legacy Fund. Each week features a different dance theme with Thursday night demonstration and instruction in Landmark Plaza Park, on 5th and St. Peter Streets in Downtown Saint Paul, followed by live music and public dances.
The next night we’ll screen a free outdoor movie at the Library on the same theme. Outdoor movies start at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.).
5:30 p.m. Beer and wine available for purchase throughout the night
6:00 p.m. Fun dance demonstrations and free lessons
7:30 p.m. Live music by a different band every week (on July 22 music starts at 8 p.m.)
9:30 p.m. Free Outdoor Dance Movies in the Saint Paul Public Library’s Kellogg Blvd. Courtyard (dusk)
Visit our website for more information.
This week, get down with Disco and “That’s the Way I Like It”
Shot in Singapore, “That’s The Way I Like It” is in English (or, as they might say…“Singlish”) with no subtitles. In it, we follow Hock (Adrian Pang), as he matures from a somewhat selfish young adult into a caring individual with a wider view of the world.
The movie opens with Hock, still a kid at heart, infatuated with Bruce Lee and a Triumph motorcycle that his job at the grocery store could never support. But it’s 1977 and disco is finally dancing its way into Singapore. Dragged by his buddies to see what he thinks will be just a silly movie, he is mesmerized by the lead character, Tony Manero (Dominic Pace). The film, called “Forever Fever,” pulsates through every bone in his body and he’s suddenly ready to put aside his Bruce Lee/Kung Fu passion and take up a life of disco dancing. When he comes back the next night to see the film again, the guy playing the Travolta-like character comes right out of the screen to offer Hock advice in proper Brooklynese.
Since there is a dance contest coming up with a $5,000 top prize, Hock grabs gal-buddy Mai (Medaline Tan) and the two take lessons in hopes of winning. Hock figures he can use the proceeds to buy the motorcycle he has always wanted. In daydream sequences, he envisions himself barreling down the highway with a good-looking woman riding with him. Of course, he has to learn dancing first – and hook up with a talented partner – before he has any hope of winning.
One of the funnier scenes has Hock trying on various outlandish disco outfits. Finally getting the right polyester shirt and tight pants, he’s ready to strut his stuff with Travolta’s classic swagger. Like another great dance movie, “Shall We Dance,” the film has us rooting for him, even if the outcome of the big competition is never really in any doubt.
What is especially delightful is how writer/director Glen Goei pays tribute to the culture of the glitter ball era; he doesn’t downplay the kitschiness of it all. In fact, Goei embraces it. Tony Manero, the character that comes off the screen to give Hock advice like a guardian angel, neither looks nor sounds anything like Travolta, and a climactic Bruce Lee-style martial arts sequence is over-the-top ridiculous, but it all feels pitch-perfect in this funny and immensely charming film. Set in Singapore in the 1970s when disco fever there was red hot, “That’s The Way I Like It” has a wonderful soundtrack is full of good 70s tunes. It’s rated PG-13 but would be fine for kids 10 and up.