It'd be a stretch to call the way Laurel and I dance "artistic."
But, hey, it's a form of creative expression, as evidenced by our dance instructor often saying to me, "Brian, what the heck were you doing with that move? That's not the way it's done in ..." [choose any dance style; I can screw it up creatively].
We've been enjoying going to the dances of the Salem Social Dance Club, a group organized by Robert -- whose last name I don't know. One Friday a month there'd be a get-together at the Salem Senior Center.
Good music. Nice mix of styles (waltz, tango, swing, foxtrot, and such). A half hour lesson included in the $5 price of admission. Tasty snacks.
Last night we went to the September dance. It turned out to be the last dance, as Robert sent out an email today saying that not enough people have been coming to the Salem Social Dance Club.
That means finis to another slice of the already meagre Salem arts/culture pie. The Dance Club lasted eighteen months. Not bad, but it sure seems like more than a couple of dozen people in the second largest city in Oregon should be interested in joining a group like this.
Back in December the Salem Repertory Theatre also shut down. Laurel and I enjoyed attending the edgy, contemporary, professionally-produced plays put on by SRT downtown, in the Reed Opera House building. But an Oregonian story said...
Underfunded and overworked, Janoviak and the handful of other core staff are letting go their labor of love.
"We couldn't raise donations or sales to the point where it became sustainable," Janoviak had explained earlier. "We all got to the point where we realized we'd done the best we could."
Salem Rep was an admirable experiment, but the leading theory about its demise is that the community simply lacked enough folks ready and willing to make theater a habit.
Yet I'll admit that my wife and I were part of the apathy, since we only started going to SRT plays during the last few years of the organization's existence and never bought season tickets.
Here's another example of how Salem sucks when it comes to supporting artsy venues: the youth culture scene lost The Space this month when it closed for a variety of reasons, including a live music-unfriendly city ban on amplifiers after 10 pm.
Download The Space closes
Well, that's Salem.
Nowhere to go and nothing to do, because too few people want to go anywhere and do something that involves culture or the arts. As I like to say, the best thing about Salem is that it's only an hour or so to Portland and Eugene.