Marge and Donald: Dancing at 90

PlayBlog   Marge and Donald: Dancing at 90
Marge Champion and Donald Saddler, veteran dancers from different mediums, forged a friendship in three-quarter time when they came together at last, cast as The Waltzing Whitmans in Matthew Warchus' 2001 revival of Follies.

When the curtain came down after 117 performances, the two continued their act, renting a studio twice a week where they still trip the light fantastic, now at age 90.

All this is documented in a 20-minute short film by Douglas Blair Tumbaugh and Greg Vander Veer called, aptly enough, "Keep Dancing." It's part of the Dance on Camera Festival co-presented by the Dance Film Association and The Film Society of Lincoln Center and will be shown at the Walter Reade Theater in Manhattan Feb. 1 at 4 PM (the first screening was Jan. 29 at 6 PM).

"I would say it's about graceful dancing, but it's not about the kind of dancing either one of us used to do," Champion admits. "You adjust. In the film, I ad-lib a line I like: 'You just do every decade, not for what it takes away but what it gives you.'

"The movie is more about aging than dancing, but it's a metaphor for saying, 'Look at this. This is your passion. Without this, you're a dead pigeon.' Longevity and enjoying the later days of your life — yes! But you can't try to be young and beautiful. It doesn't work. You've got to be old and knowledgeable and pass on the torch."

The New Dance Group, the 77-year-old studio space where most of the film was shot, has now vanished from the scene, but these two boogie on — save for the days when Saddler calls up at the last minute and says he is "not up to concert level."

— Harry Haun

Today’s Most Popular News: