Movies

Every Little Step

When I was a teenager, I used to have a photocopy of a medley from A Chorus Line propped on the piano ledge, and I would play and sing it with a lot of emotion. Tonight, the audience for Every Little Step was small in the repertory cinema, but I was too shy to sing along out loud. Instead, I mouthed the words. I hadn’t heard these songs in years, but my heart just leapt up at the first song. For some reason I was close to tears through most of the documentary. It moved me, and it reminded me. The movie follows the audition process for a recent Broadway version of A Chorus Line as well as documents how the original musical came to be made. While watching the movie,  it struck me how brutal the process is on the dancers—they are constantly being evaluated and no one sugar coats their opinions. It’s not that the evaluators are mean people, just, that’s how it is, and I guess dancers learn how to handle the constant rejection. And yet, they still give these beautiful, vulnerable performances. I liked this line by one of the auditioning dancers, something like, “I put all my eggs in one basket. I have nothing to fall back on. If you have something to fall back on, you’ll fall back on it.” I remember being that passionate, that committed. Maybe there never really has been anything else to fall back on except our chosen art form.

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