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In the first story ‘Dirty Dancing’ he mentions how he is called ‘Baby’ and his parents only recognise him as an adult when he dirty dances at the airport when they come and pick him up.The stories are linked by an ‘I’ voice which is not dissimilar to the author, despite the stories clearly having elements of morphing fantasy into the real contemporary world they are set in.
It is our tribute to the heroes of yesterday who jitterbugged like carefree boys and girls, when tomorrow they would march as men and women to defend freedom’s cause.
It is the chance to be a princess again, waiting for an out-stretched hand and the call to a romance that is graceful, true, and not as forgotten as the cynics say. Literally the hardest part is taking that first step…
But alas, those words never seem to come to us just right.
Perhaps dance is the medium through which we show the world who we truly are and who we can be.
‘Dinner with my brother’ slips sideways into a discussion of Chinese names where Cho concludes that if patchy employment history has a name, it’s Tom Cho.
This self reference is one example of how Cho inserts himself into the text.Morphing Cho plays with popular expectations and the morphing involved has political and literary underpinnings.The title the popular film starring John Travolta’s voice about a talking baby.But the story takes a lateral jump to the left when Uncle Wang is wired up to a computer that Tom has to fix.There are two other stories where the familiarity of family dinners is hijacked by fantastical occurrences.Why do we put ourselves through the physical fatigue and the occasional social awkwardness just to call ourselves dancers? We cannot seem to explain it, yet we all know it so well that we do not hesitate to tap our feet to a Gershwin melody or pulse with the percussion of a samba rhythm. Perhaps dance is the way we express ourselves when words are insufficient. We dance for emotional stability, and other such pluses.As a choreographer and writer (though I confess I am far more comfortable to claim the former than the latter), I get asked to share my opinion about a myriad of dance related topics from the practical: That’s it. What is it about moving our bodies to a song we love that is so joyfully Pavlovian? However, all these benefits could be attained by others means, though I confess I have yet to find a better alternative than a great cha cha to lift both one’s heart-rate and spirits.Why do we watch videos, obsess over our reflection in the kitchen window, and yes, take lessons to perfect something that could easily be labeled as trivial? Still, we do not need to dance to acquire a sound mind and body. There must be something glorious about dancing that is more than just intangible; it must be almost imperceptible.The image used on the cover of the book includes a scar that bleeds neon pink, perhaps a reference to the suitmation that enables Cho to morph into the Fonz.Another interpretation is that even on the cover of the book Cho is morphing and his resemblance to the Fonz is yet another morphing.