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I must say, I was reticent to accept the Mia Michaels, So You Think You Can Dance, contemporary dance phenomenon.  However, for the sake of research (thank you A+C), I decided to start watching her work on youtube (I don't own a TV).  And, as my middle school students do, I now would like to give props to Mia Michaels for her "Ave Maria."  First of all, the cast of five females have bitchin' costumes - white feathers on the sleeves, and hair long and teased - that create a "fallen angel" look.  Through the movement, the dancers emote an aura of internal toil.  They are tortured souls reaching for the heavens.  At certain points, we can clearly see Mia channeling the spirits of Martha Graham and Pina Bausch, the movement coming from a very feminine point of view especially at the moment when the girls shuffle across the floor on their knees with their heads tilted back and arms held wrists up and straight in front of them.  I do not mean to suggest that the choreography is unoriginal, in fact I think this historical influence in the work is very important.  Even though most people would not make this connection, it is still, in my opinion, the simple fact of exposure that counts.

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