Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Tina Turner - “Private Dancer”

We start off with Tina sitting at her makeup mirror, fiddling with some lipstick and looking very dissatisfied. Cut to a spinning disco ball, and Tina sashaying into a rundown dance room where the couples have no rhythm and don’t seem to be having a good time. Tina walks around looking for a partner, which might be a little difficult since her hair has been jacked to the ceiling and I doubt if anyone wants to get intimate with a haystack.

Whoops, she catches the eye of some guy who smirks and offers her a subway token. (I guess this is the going rate.) They proceed to slow dance, with Tina lethargically leaning against him without letting go of her shawl and purse, because a girl has to have priorities.

Cut to a highly-caffeinated Tina (can her eyes bulge any more?), wearing a glittery stewardess outfit from Big Shoulder Airlines. She turns and starts strolling through a room where people are doing odd things, and there are cobwebs everywhere. One of them is a ballet dancer twirling in front of a mirror, even though no one asked her to do that. Another woman is on the floor, reenacting a birthing scene. There’s nothing the least bit sexy about any of this, so I really don’t see how there’s going to be any “private dancing”.

Next we have Tina brushing past a strange man in Phantom of the Opera gear, holding his foot out like it’s a turnstile that she can pass through. He lowers his foot and throws glitter on her, and Tina is none too pleased with that mess. The Phantom Guy doesn’t understand that we aren’t impressed, and he does some stupid hand movements with his gloved fingers.

Then there’s a couple of newlyweds dancing near a window. For whatever reason, they are both wearing white makeup and looking deathly pale, so perhaps neither set of parents approved of the union. This is followed by a sailor doing more ballet moves, so he obviously doesn’t understand “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Cut to Marie Antoinette and some guy dancing, but there movements are limited because they are tethered to the floor with toilet paper. (I can’t even begin to imagine what the symbolism is behind this stunt.)

Quick shots of band members trying to play their instruments, but hampered by the bloody cobwebs that are strung about. (There’s just no happiness anywhere in this place.) Cut to a guy wearing a bullhead behind a clear screen, while a woman dances in front of the screen wearing Annie Oakley attire. She’s proud of her moves, but we don’t care. Next up is a soldier marching in the door and being attacked by two orange-haired women wearing children’s sleepwear. They do an odd dance, and then drop to their knees. (Probably so they can pray for forgiveness, because that dance was just wrong on so many levels.)

Then Tina is singing in front of a line of chorus girls wearing modified Hugh Hefner smoking jackets. Money is falling from the ceiling, but nobody’s bothering to snatch it up and go buy a better script. Oh look, the people in the main dance room are now doing some synchronized line dancing that involves rolling tramps over your back and then dragging them off to parts unknown.

Cut to two youngsters dancing about in one of the cobwebby rooms, and I’m kind of scared where this might go. All the sudden the boy gets all snippy and stomps out of the room, leaving behind the little girl in her pretty dress. Wait, is that supposed to be a little Tina? How long has she been in this place?

And now we roll into an extended segment where lots of couples are wearing pale-blue spandex and performing somewhat-questionable moves, reminding you of that eye-opening experience as a child on Grandpa’s farm when you first realized that maybe a stork wasn’t actually responsible for the arrival of baby animals. (One of the dancers tries to get Tina’s attention, but she’s in a coma and doesn’t want to play.) The Blue People do their thing for a very long time.

Finally, they wander off to do something else, and we now have Tina and a random selection of the hookers we’ve met so far, all of them striking curious poses while Tina stands on top of a birdbath and bellows the closing lines of the song. This is followed by a montage of more people doing things we don’t understand. (What is wrong with that Geisha girl?)

Then Tina is lying on the floor, probably because she’s really tired of these people and can’t go on. Folks start throwing roses at her, and she grins maniacally as if this is all she’s ever wanted out of life. (Then perhaps she should live next to a florist instead of in a cathouse.) As the roses continue to fly, all the extras in the video clap snootily. (Like they actually have careers. Tina’s not worried, she has a record contract.)

The final scene is of Tina dancing with yet another man who will only disappoint her. A single tear races down her face, and she turns and flees the room, staggering a bit. After all, with hair that big, it’s hard to walk in a straight line.

Fade to black.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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