July 21st, 2007 – After a warm day in the Pines during Dancers Responding to AIDS’ Fire Island Dance Festival, watching performers from contemporary and classical Ballet companies, Travis Wall, runner up of the 2006 season of So You Think You Can Dance interviews Whoopi Goldberg, Madame Loyal of the dance Festival, in a very casual conversation for Movmnt Magazine. Whoopi exchange with Travis her feelings about his brother Danny Tidwell, then contestant on SYTYCD season 3, and in the middle of the now famous arrogant gate Danny was victim while performing for FOX TV Dance Show.
The 13th Annual Fire Island Festival benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA).
Movmnt Magazine is a proud sponsor of the festival and supports DRA all year long. Travis Wall perform this same year in Fire Island along with Ivan Koumaev an exclusive piece for the Festival. Whoopi Goldberg MC-ed the week-end as a guest of honor.
Here is the transcript of the filmed interview conducted by Travis for movmnt.
Travis Wall: Do you watch the show? [So you think you can dance]
Whoopi Goldberg: I watch the show but not as religiously. But I’ve watched it.
[Opinion from a Movmnt Staff present there:] Some people are religious about it
Whoopi Goldberg: My partner who works for me is religious [about So You Think You Can Dance]. Your brother is a magnificent dancer. You are a magnificent. Both you and your brother are magnificent dancers. (laughs)
TW: Did you watch last season?
Whoopi Goldberg: Bits and pieces.
TW: What pieces do you remember?
Whoopi Goldberg: Child… nothing! [Travis laughs]
Whoopi Goldberg: I’m not gonna lie. I’m not gonna lie because if I saw it like two days ago, it would stay in my head.
TW: We just got nominated for an Emmy actually. Mia’s piece, me and Heidi, did the bench piece [Calling You, choreographed by Mia Michaels]. So did Wade [Robson for Ramalama (Bang Bang)].
Whoopi Goldberg: Excellent.
TW: How has dance affected your life? Has dance been a major role in your life?
Whoopi Goldberg: Oh it’s played a major role in my life because, as a character performer, that is to say, you know, you watch people, you see how they’re moving. You have to know how why fat people move the way they move. What I used to do.. When you’re playing a big character. You have to know that they’re moving this way. They’re not moving like this, they’re moving like this. Movement is everything.
Whoopi Goldberg: If you’re going to be somebody and you’re old and you’re hunched, you gotta know how to hunch so you can get back up. You have to know how to reach, how to move on the stage so you can cover the most amount of space or the least amount of space and still look fabulous. You know? Me with all the characters that I play, movement has been with me since I was 10. It’s a big part of my life.
TW: Especially on Broadway. Movement is everywhere right now, and Hairspray just came out, Steppin’ Out; What do you think of the show [SYTYCD] being on TV? What do you think about Danny? Danny’s my brother so choose your words wisely. (laughter)
Whoopi Goldberg: Well you know what? He’s a magnificent… No, no I’m gonna tell you the truth. He’s a magnificent, magnificent dancer. What I really want him to do more than anything is… (she thinks about what word to say)… I want him to know that when you are a magnificent dancer, you have to be gracious to the people who are not. So he needs to learn how to carry his magnificence a different way.
TW: Absolutely. Wisdom words from Whoopi Goldberg ladies and gentlemen. Absolutely. The thing with Danny it’s that he’s such an insecure, shy person, sometimes when you don’t talk, people consider you as arrogant, more so than shy. It’s the first thing they jump to. Me last year, I was very closed up in the very beginning and then I opened up as the season progressed.
Whoopi Goldberg: You didn’t make people feel like they couldn’t approach you. And so again when you’re as good as you all are, the key to carrying to that is not to be like “hum hum,” but be able to make people feel comfortable that you’re not looking down on them and what they can’t do. It’s all about doing this because you’re here. (Travis holds her hand up high) When you’re here, you have to do this to other people. (motions lifting up other with the other hand)
TW: Thank you so much for your time.
Whoopi Goldberg: I love watching y’all. I loved watching you.