Pick your bobbleheads!

There’s a fascinating discussion going on at The Culturist, headed by NY Times dance critic/WNYC blogger Claudia LaRocco. It addresses the elitist uptight culture of theater events, and how it could use a more relaxed fun atmosphere at the theater. For example, provide bobbleheads of people’s favorite dancer available for purchase. To extend the argument to another step, this could directly translate into making the arts more accessible to newbies, who view the arts as this snobby exclusive event with no sense of humor. On the flip side, some may think that this may cheapen the art form to a “less serious” one.

Would you buy bobbleheads of your favorite dancers? If so, whose would you buy? I listed some in my comment on Claudia’s site. For some reason, choreographers seem they would make great bobbleheads – Twyla Tharp and Jorma Elo come to mind. I’d also like to include some non-ballet artists, like SF Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Broadway actors Raul Esparza and Kristin Chenoweth, and tenor Juan Diego Florez. And how fab would it be to have bobbleheads of your favorite SF Ballet dancers?? Maybe one of real life husband and wife Tiit Helimets and Molly Smolen as a twofer.

Jorma Elo and Twyla Tharp

A coworker of mine suggested that instead of bobbleheads, a dashboard hula girl might be a good alternative. It doesn’t really fit with ballet since no one really moves their hips in classical ballet, but maybe we can have a hula girl dressed in the costume for Elo’s Double Evil since there’s hip wiggling in that piece. :)

Edited to add: How cool is it to be endorsed by a real NY Times journalist?? Especially more so for a person like me who never really did well in English (I’m more of a science guy myself…) Thanks for the shoutout, Claudia! And if you haven’t subscribed to her blog, please do so immediately. Lots of great conversation going on there. Most of the time, I don’t really have much to contribute except to type in, “Interesting” or “Good point” because the discussions run in very creative and eloquent places.

P.S. Extra points for someone who can guess which musical that parenthetical quote came from.

15 thoughts on “Pick your bobbleheads!

  1. Martha

    I would pay serious cash money for a Raul Esparza bobblehead. Particularly if when you tapped it on the head, it played “Being Alive…”

  2. Katrina

    OMG… here’s my right now list LOL:
    Josh Groban
    John Barrowman
    Aaron Lazar (my current new obession)
    Adam Pascal

    Tony Dovoloni
    Derek Hough
    Ethan Stiefel
    Sascha Radetsky

    Figure Skating:
    Evan Lysacek
    Kurt Browning
    David Peltier
    John Zimmerman

  3. Jolene

    No female bobbleheads? Only cute guy bobbleheads?? :)

    I have to second Aaron Lazar – love him! He had a smallish part in the Les Mis revival (as Enjolras), but he stole the spotlight whenever he was onstage. You just couldn’t take your eyes off of him.

  4. Katrina

    I have a heard time listening to female singers… There are very few that I like to listen to. I think it has to do with the fact that I sing and have a easier time telling when a female singer is off.

    As for Dancers…The only one I’d really want as a bobble head is Julianne Hough

    For Figure skaters… Just too many to chose from LOL. But I guess my tops would be:
    Kristi Yamaguchi
    Kimmie Misner
    Yoko Ina
    Melissa Gregory

    Oh I know.. I knew about him 2 years ago but I’ve just recently gotten into him.

    I’m kind of sad that he pulled out of the Les Mis thing at the Hollywood Bowl thing in August. Did you know he has a blog!:

  5. tonya

    I don’t know about bobbleheads, but I used to love barbie dolls of my favorites. Not to play with, just to sit on my dresser and stare at in admiration, hoping to be them one day, particularly Dorothy Hamill :) — I was very young! But a Jose Carreno barbie would be really cute. And of course Marcelo and Julie barbies. And of course a David Hallberg barbie. We could actually have lots of fun with that one, taking pictures in various poses and sending them to the Winger?… Actually, I think Alvin Ailey is coming out with a barbie of Judith Jamison!

  6. Jolene

    Hilarious! I think David Hallberg’s barbie would look very much like a blonde Ken doll.

    I thought that there should also be a series of artistic directors’ bobbleheads (or dolls). Wouldn’t it be fun to have a collection of Kevin McKenzie, Peter Martins, and Helgi Tomasson? :)

  7. the culturist

    awww, shucks – thanks for the kind words, jolene. i’m having such fun with this blog; it’s fascinating to see how it’s changing the way i approach writing about art, and great to be able to hear from so many people. and stop being so modest, you’ve had lots of great things to say!

    i would, however, like to point out that, while i do freelance for the nyt, this blog is a product of wnyc radio, and owes its existence to some wonderful, and wonderfully smart, people who work there. yay for them!

    happy fourth, everyone.


  8. Jolene

    Hi Claudia! It’s been really fun to see critics take to blogging and really enjoy it, from John Rockwell (who’s even taken to podcasting!) and your blog, and to hear what you have to say more off the record and on more informal topics like bobbleheads. It’s so much fun and more meaningful to add more specialized expertise to the dance buzz online.

    C, what are your top five bobbleheads?? We never got to hear your list!

  9. the culturist

    well, it changes all the time (clearly i have too much time on my hands), but the ones that spring to mind today, in no particular order, are:

    Joan Didion
    Merce Cunningham
    Marina Abramovic
    Marcelo Gomes

    however, was also thinking that it would be great to have bobblehead duos, like LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka or Deborah Voigt (before and after) …

  10. Jolene

    lol poor Voigt. It’s great that she has such a great sense of humor about herself. And of course her “after” bobblehead would be in a little black dress!

    Merce Cunningham was looking awfully spry a few months ago! He’d be a cute bobblehead.

  11. claudia la rocco

    Heeheehee – I just added this comment to my original post. Too wild:

    Look! There’s a limited edition Fouad Fakhouri bobblehead doll being offered by The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra!


    Fabulous – thanks for pointing him out, Jolene. I actually found myself signing in to the site to buy it, before (mercifully) realizing that I didn’t actually need a 7.5 inches-high Fakhouri in my living room. However, if it had been someone on my top-five list …

  12. jolene Post author

    I would totally buy one too if it was someone in my list! Seven and a half inches? That’s pretty tall, I missed that part. I think it’s really funny that their main inspiration seems to have been that he LOOKED like a bobblehead (although they may never admit it if they found the idea, uh, elsewhere :) )

    I’m still waiting for someone to make that ballet we talked about – ex HP CEO Carly Fiorina, lost in a sea of yes men male fembots in sunglasses and suits, done in a non campy way… :)

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