Sparkle 1975 Vs. Sparkle 2012, Classy beats Assy!

1975I finally had a chance to watch Sparkle 2012 last night.  I did a brief tribute to Sparkle 1975 on February 12 this year after Whitney Houston passed on 2/11/12:

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Whitney Houston!  And I LOVE that she made it possible to reboot Sparkle, one of my all-time favorite movies!

My sister hated the revised Sparkle movie.  And like many critics of the movie online, I can understand why.  The movie is a beloved African American classic.  And sometimes, it is best to leave classics alone.

Sparkle Cast 2012The movie ending was HORRIBLE!  I can see why my sister hated the movie so much.  I was watching from home, but the last 3 songs made me want to leave the theater, so to speak.  If I did watch it in a theatre, I may have left at One Wing.  R Kelly IS NOT Curtis Mayfield!  The final 3 songs by R Kelly completely ruined the ending.  It took the movie from being “Sparkle” to being an episode of any reality singing competition.  Take your pick, American Idol, The Voice, etc.  Even through Jordin Sparks may have been comfortable with the ending, as winner of American Idol.  Please, no music videos for the end of my beloved Sparkle.  Why, oh, why not just end it like the original with Sparkle singing Loving You Baby and Look Into Your Heart?

Sparkle Cast 1975Speaking of music soundtracks, allow me to go back into time to my 1975 bandwagon and complain about ARETHA FRANKLIN!  I LOVE Aretha, but why oh why did they let her sing the 1975 soundtrack songs INSTEAD of Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Dwan Smith?  I had no choice but to buy it, since I loved the movie so much.  I could see why they chose Aretha over 3 “actresses” as she is a legend.  Very bad decision, as Irene, Lonette and Dwan KILLED those songs in the movie!

CASTING:  Tie for both movie versions.  Great casting for both!

MUSIC SOUNDTRACK:  The background music in the new Sparkle is the bomb!  What a great selection of oldies to listen to during the music.  The song focus in the 1975 version, were the actual songs while being performed, which made them stand out more than a “flood” of music.   But it did breathe a breath of fresh “old song” air into the new version.

Sparkle2012PLOT:  It was stupid to bring Sister back from the grave and waste her “life” with prison.  Mara had a chance to really, resurrect Sister.  Why not let her 3 years go by and let her perform the final number with Sparkle?  This was a wasted opportunity to have a group reunion with Delores?   I love the new empowerment having Emma own a dress store.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being a maid, like Effie in the 1975 version.  Why did they make Satin a comedian in the new version?  That was just dumb!  It would have been more realistic to make him a drug dealer.

SCRIPT:  The new script was awesome!  The dialogue was fresh.  Kudos to Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil!

COSTUMES:  The 2012 costumes did not totally outshine the 1975 version.   I give a special kudos to the 1975 version released on DVD with the cool blue dresses on the cover that I did not see in the original film.

Sparkle1975DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY:  My brother is not a dancer, but he COMPLAINED about the dancing and costumes in the 2012 version.  The 1975 dance choreographies by Lester Wilson were sensuous and classy.  I usually LOVE choreographies by Fatima Robinson, but the 2012 dance choreographies tended to go overly sexy, trying to hard to look sexy, not appropriate for the 1960s, Raunchy, Lap Dance, Bump & Grind and Assy!  I am a Belly Dancer, so thought I would never say this about choreography, but the dances had too much BELLY DANCE!  Too many ummies, shimmies, undulations, etc.  Sort of LAZY choreography.  Please watch both versions of “Hooked on Your Love” to see what I mean.  Lonette McKee did not have to resort to a Lap Dance to kill that song.  Take notes  Carmen Ejogo!  The 1975 Sparkle had better costumes for Sparkle and Dee while performing that same song.  I can see why the 1975 Sparkle group won the contest against Doreen (Norma Miller); while the 2012 Sparkle group should NOT have won the contest, as the Girl Group before them (with Fatima Robinson and Goapele) should have won.  They were hands down way better than the Sister & Sisters!  I wanted to see more of them!!!

Casting: 10 10
Music Soundtrack: 10 9
Plot: 8 9
Script: 8 9
Costumes: 9 9
Dance Choreography: 10 6
TOTAL 55 52 Sparkle 1975


Coming soon:

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2!

Chapter 4:  Michael Jackson Dances back from the Grave!
The Vampire Dancer Saga back coverAMAZON KINDLE:



Performer Tribute 4/20/12: Cher (El Centro, CA) original Tweet 10/11/11. Who inspired you to perform?

Cher1Performer Tribute 4/12/12: Cher (El Centro, CA) original Tweet 10/11/11

Consciously or sub-consciously, a performer or someone inspired you to perform. Think about it?

James Brown and Jackie Wilson inspired Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson inspired Usher, Hanson and a host of other generations of performers

Whitney Houston has inspired a generation of performers

Marilyn Monroe inspired many, many different performersCher2

Cute, little Willow Smith reminds me so much of a young Jada Pinkett or Will Smith

The late, great Dick Clark inspired Ryan Seacrest and many other popular TV & Radio hosts

The list goes on and on. And it makes me wonder who inspired me to dance?

Well, looking back, seems like I was a sucker and magnet for all things Rhinestone, bling, glitter & fringe – so let’s blame that on Tina Turner and Cher.

Cher3Also, I love big, wild Diva Wigs and trying to sing, so let’s blame that on Diana Ross and Cher.

I love dancing and watching performers who dance well in their stage shows, so let’s blame that on Debbie Allen and Cher.

I love costume designers with fabulous costumes and the performers who wear them like Bob Mackie and Cher.

Also I love glamorous, exotic make up so let’s blame that on Elizabeth Taylor and Cher

Cher4Hey, wait – let’s blame everything on Cher!!! The Diva who has it all: bling, wigs, singing, dancing, costumes makeup, etc.

Cher has it all!

I would LOVE to meet Cher in person one day and just look at her Wig Room and Costume Rooms. I’m not sure if she has been in a TV special where they show that, but I would love to see it.

Cher is a hero, from acting to singing to dancing to her wigs, to her costumes to her famous Vegas Shows to her movies! Wow! She has done it all.  And there are not that many performers around who have been able to change and keep up with all of the different music and fashion styles for many decades and generations like Cher, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin.  They have all survived my favorite music era: DISCO and keep up, stay in style and keep it moving and grooving.

Cher5I remember watching the Sony & Cher show back in the day. Little Chastity was so sweet back then. It was great when they showed her. I also loved it when she danced with the Jackson 5. Not many performers can pull that off, but Cher did and looked pretty cool doing it.

I follow Cher on Facebook and Twitter and it was so cool when Chaz was on Dancing with the Stars. It was exciting when they announced that Cher would be coming to support Chaz.

Underneath all that stage makeup, diva costumes, wigs and bling is a real human, a mother to Chaz and a former wife to Sony.

It would so cool for Cher to make a video for DIVA WANNABEs. Or have a Reality show called Cher’s Top Divas. I would certainly audition. Are you listening Cher?Cher8


I know it’s not Cher, but could not resist throwing in this one with Jackson 5 and Vicki Lawrence from The Carol Burnett show.  Who knew Mama from Mama’s Family could boogie dance so good with the J5?


Here is Cher with the J5

For more Dance Gossip & Goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at and Barnes & Noble :

Cher7I will be posting some of my original Dancer Tributes in WordPress, only the early ones that were in Twitter only, not WordPress.  Back when I first starting posting the dancer tributes on Twitter I only had 2 subscribers.  Now that I have more, I realized that a lot of people missed my early dancer tributes.  But as I am reposting those, I will also keep adding new content for topics like Dance Choreography, new Dancer tributes, etc.

Now is your time to Join the Conversation! Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, blog suggestions, guest bloggers, etc., are all welcome!

Who inspired you to perform?

Singer/Dancer Tribute 2/12/12: Irene Cara (Bronx, NY). What is your favorite scene in the movie Sparkle or song by Irene Cara?

Irene7Singer/Dancer Tribute 2/12/12: Irene Cara (Bronx, NY)

First of all, RIP Whitney Houston.  Sad smile  My prayers are for Bobbi Kristina, Cissy Houston & Dionne Warwick, Bobby Brown and all of Whitney’s family.

I was planning to do a tribute to Irene Cara.  What a co-incidence, both Irene and Whitney acted in two different versions of the movie Sparkle.

I loved the original movie version of Sparkle and was first in line to see it when it came out in 1976, a personal favorite year for me!  I love all things-Supremes and the movie was a bit similar to DreamGirls which is similar to the Supremes.  So I loved everything, the songs, the costumes, the dancing, the story.  In fact, Sparkle is my all-time favorite, favorite best movie!!! 

Of course I had to get the movie soundtrack LP when it came out.  But I was disappointed that the actors in the movie did not sing the songs on the soundtrack.  I love Aretha Franklin, but it should have been Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Dwan Smith singing the songs on the soundtrack.  That soundtrack was magical and some of Curtis Mayfield’s best work.  I had a raggedy copy of the movie on video tape, then when it was finally released on DVD I had to get that copy too.

Then Irene had to go out and participate in some my other favorite movies like

  • Fame, Actress, Dancer and Vocalist on Movie Theme Song
  • FlashDance, Vocalist and Co-Writer of Movie Theme Song

I am so looking forward to seeing the remake of Sparkle when it is released on August 17, 2012.  I know it will be one of my favorite movies that Whitney Houston made, like Waiting to Exhale (1995) and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997).   Here is Irene Cara, enjoy!
For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at and Barnes & Noble :








Now is your time to Join the Conversation!  Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, etc., are all welcome!

What is your favorite scene in the movie Sparkle or song by Irene Cara?