October 20th, 2020 / posted by paularath

David Byrne brings “American Utopia” to HBO.              Photo courtesy of CNN

“We dance like this because it feels so good.

If we could dance better, you know that we would.”

Well, David Byrne, your choreography may be a little kooky and quirky, but, hey, I loved it! You brought a grin to my face and joy to my heart with your delightful “American Utopia.”  What fun dancing right along side you in my family room, where nobody could see me.

Of course, the genius of director Spike Lee also helped make this TV experience one to remember – and probably for me to repeat. He shot from every possible angle and lit the stage and the musicians with so much style.

I loved the odd juxtapositions, such as the gray suits and bare feet. And the unexpected pairing of the two lead dancers. Duets often feature dancers who are as close to cloned as possible. But not in this theatrical performance!

The honesty and simplicity of the music and lyrics is so refreshing and liberating. The humor and tongue-in-cheek attitude is a balm in these fraught times.

Of course Byrne and Lee are not going to miss a beat when it comes to making a point, hence Janelle Monae’s protest song, “Hell You Talmbout” brings the Black Lives Matter movement right into our living rooms, with photos of a shocking number of people who have been killed by police. Yet the mood is uplifting, unlike most of what we are seeing and hearing around us.

This is TV worth your time!

Paula Rath

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