top of page
  • Writer's pictureM. Linda Graham

MERDE! [got your attention? good! the show is great - read on!]

Retirement Day #1351

Tonight, Dance 49, the annual showcase dance concert presented for the last (can you guess?) 49 years by the Hope College Dance Department, will have its final performance. Wrapped in the original movement ideas of 7 choreographers (faculty and guests) who collaborated with costume and lighting designers, and supported by an army of backstage production staff, 50+ student dancers will pour their minds, hearts and bodies into sharing their final performance with the DeWitt Theater audience.

For 36yrs, this concert defined my spring term. Last night I was delighted to join many dance faculty (both current and retired) hunkered down in the back of the DeWitt, where I was regaled with the show. If you can – head on down tonight to catch this remarkable dance performance. But this blog is not about the show.

This blog is for those talented, hard working, exhausted and committed dancers: Merde!

Why the dirty [literally] word for dancers?

The world of the performing arts is filled with superstitions - each has a fascinating history. If ever you want to wish a dancer good vibes for a great performance, save “break a leg” for the actors. In the USA, France and Belgium, tell the dancer “merde” - and the dancer should respond “oui” - never “thank you” – which reverses the good poo energy. Why Merde? This expression is said to have originated during the Romantic period (mid-19th century) in Paris at the Palais Garnier – home of the Paris Opera Ballet. If a show was successful, a lot of carriages would be seen bringing patrons to the theater, and we all know what horse drawn carriages leave in their wake: 💩💩💩.

So, one more time - for all the beautiful Dance 49 dancers: MERDE!

58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page