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Arts and Entertainment

Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary DVD

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When my best friend Becky called me two weeks ago and asked if I wanted to go with her and our friend Bethany to the 20th anniversary screening of Dirty Dancing I almost hung up the phone on her. Becky’s known me since we were nine and I couldn’t believe she even had to ask. Duh. Of course I want to go. How did I not know about this before?

There we were, on a Wednesday night, my two childhood friends and I arrived at the Century City Mall, an appropriate ten minutes before the movie began. I mean, what weirdos besides for us were doing this? Turns out we were wrong- so wrong. The theater was packed and we had to settle into second row seats, our necks craning upwards.

Dirty Dancing has always held a special place in my heart- not because it’s a great piece of cinematic art, but because it was the first “dirty” movie I’d ever seen. I mean, it even says it in the title, right? I was only six when this small independent (that’s right DD is an Indie) film came out in 1987, so I had to patiently wait a few years until the momentous day my new Aunt let me watch it. Aunt Mindy, trying to win over my nine year old heart said I could see it as long as I didn’t tell my parents, and that secret is still safe. So when the opportunity to see Baby Houseman do the cha-cha on the big screen came, I jumped.

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The film started by showing interviews with the director and producers, choreographers and costumers who all reminisced about that time in the mid eighties when they were working on a project they had no idea would become as huge as it did. They talked about filming in North Carolina, rigorous dance rehearsals, choosing the music for the memorable soundtrack and the general camaraderie on the small set. After the twenty minutes of build-up we (the audience) were dying for the movie to start, and when it did it was welcomed by cheers.

I noticed moments I had never paid attention to before and I also noticed just how cheesy that movie is. The lines are just incredibly and quotably corny, "Nobody puts baby in a corner". It was like a sing along. It was kind of like seeing the midnight showing Rocky Horror Picture Show in NYC, with all the audience participation. At the end of the movie I fully expected to turn around in my second row seat and see people dancing in the aisles and in fact some, not a lot, but some really enthusiastic fans were.

I left the theater wanting to go sign up for a dance class, go back in time to the 60's, and the 80's, and meet my real life Johnny Castle.

The 20th anniversary DVD with interviews and special clips is available now.

Photo by michale