When I was a kid, my four sisters and I used to turn the lights out in the living room and put records on to dance. I’d like to say we danced to Thelonious Monk or Miles Davis, but we lived in a small town, it was a short-tail economy, and such things were not available to us. I remember these times clearly because we were so happy, and whatever conflicts or problems we had evaporated when the music started.
Last night I watched ‘Dancing at Lughnasa.’ Capturing the strained lives of five sisters in a small Irish town in 1936, the film itself wasn’t remarkable; the plot didn’t take advantage of so many opportunities of time and circumstance, we never entirely connected with the narrator, and the film relied too heavily on visuals to tell the story. What I did connect with was the relationships between the five sisters. How they negotiated their conflicts and how fiercely they defended each other resonated with me. But what touched me most was when, at the height of their troubles, they abandoned themselves to music. And they danced and danced and danced.
And of course, Meryl Streep gives a brilliant performance.