Hi. I used to use this blog a lot more than i do now. I don't agree with much of what i've posted here, but such is the nature of time. :) My instagram & facebook are likely to be more up to date.

dance your asses off...

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well... so much dancing & fun... DJ Ripley & DJ/rupture both played my monthly D.J. night (awesome, the both of em...), checked out the Tomb Crew with my favorite local deejays, and i've been going nuts on the resurgence of tribal percussion in dance music... but it was seeing a Chicago juke video that reminded me of my promise to Olivia of Zafira Dance Company to write a post about my the influences on my dancing... While i can't do all of these moves, i can do a lot of em, and i try to combine them into a fusion that reacts to the diversity in a great deejay set. note: the music in these videos is somewhat secondary... i picked 'em for the movement primarily...

first, wicked fast juke dancers to set the mood. pure gold.



so the club is packed, you have to move, but how? here's some kuduro dancers, which interest me because they dance at 140+ b.p.m., a tempo range that's very au courant...



the guy at 1:59 in that kuduro video blows my mind... love that walking in place shit... anyway, speaking of kuduro... get some legwork tips from this one... swing those knees!



there is some arm and hand miming in that one, but really no hand and arm work is complete without peeping the master himself, flattop...



here's another with terrible audio, but a bit longer... he's really the best popper/locker/strober i know of... very flexible, too... does some yoga-like stalls...



that movement is really all about isolation... working different sections of your body without moving the others... something any tribal style bellydancer knows all about... Mel here kind of does what i'm talking about... though a bit more fluid obviously than a pop-locker... i've seen her perform with her partner from Kassar some way slower shit than this, which is my real fave.



here's another... it's again similar to (but not as good as) the utter badass slowness one might have seen from the mid 2000s Zafira girls... I'm sure they still rock that style occasionally, though it's been more raucus and balkan from them lately. Note: if you're looking for great bellydance troupes and links, start nowhere but this collection (right at the top are the women of Zafira, our local tribal style geniuses...)



while it's a bit more ass-centric, the dutty wine is another of these isolation-based dances. based in dancehall culture, it's a farily sexualized dance, that non-the less gets some real props in my book from a skill level. humorously, the wiki cautions that "Some doctors have warned against performing the Dutty Wine, claiming it may cause serious muscle trauma, and ligament damage." this white boy is unafraid.



to me this all starts to get combined in liquid dance, or basic rave dancing... before going too deep into the liquid stuff... let's start with a fairly clubby version of breakdance one finds at the better, more cosmopolitan dancing events. I saw this woman at DEMF 2007, and she's still great on youtube.



but yeah... liquid... often made fun of, but pretty fucking cool anyway... it's an adaptation of tai chi, and is all about continuous, fluid movements, often very arm & hand oriented... he's doing tiny bits of "tutting" here, too...



this guy's a bit stiff and isn't moving the rest of his body much, but this is a great example of the basic hand movements of classic rave dancing. i swear this evolved because of the tightly packed
dancefloors that don't allow for wild arm movements...



there are two dancers in this next one, and while they incorporate a ton of pop-locking and other breakdance styles, there is a liquidity here that's great... especially the second dancer. don't be fooled by how much of a dork he seems at first... mad skills!



no post about dancing would be complete without crip-walking... especially the transcendant foot-work at 2:39.



ok... some details. my dancing also contains some small details i think make a big difference... i take a cue from kathakali dancing in terms of face control...



hands: tiny fluttering movements that complete the tighter areas of the body's natural spiral... the belly dance name for it is "lotus hands" i can't find any better examples of this, but she basically does it. I'd like to think my version of this is cooler... a lot more cascading individual finger movement...



fingers: this guy does some finger tutting, which is really fun... i use tiny bits of these actions...



directions: the dancer has a lot of axes to work with... in this clip from james brown's pilot t.v. episode, future shock, this guy at 3:15 is dealing with time in a mostly 90 degree way, but with a ton of moxie and funk...



feet: while we're with james brown, he does some great sliding footwork in this video early on...



feet: of course, there's always michael's footwork...



someone has adapted the moonwalk to the breakdancing style "gliding"...



i do a think where i glide in a circle with my feet basically never leaving first position, but i can't find anyone else doing that. i realize i'll have to step up at some point and upload a video... it will take goading... anyway, interms of other dancingthen there's the stuff that i don't even pretend to incorporate, but i find terribly inspiring... there's the lindy hop:



and of course really bad ass breakdancers... my buddy jubz had some videos of aerialists that youtube has never bested, but here's an amazing windmill compilation i found:



even further there is the not-exactly dance movement that rocks my world, like capoeria:



sometimes the music makes me move slowly, like in tai chi:



and sometimes it's all about spirit... "duende", as flamenco would call it. maybe it takes just being goofy, just being energetic or whatever, but you have to feel it. here are some Rajasthani dancers (who feel it!) from the spectacular film, Latcho Drom:



P.S. (i'm sure i forgot some AWESOME dancing that I love... and some that isn't even my thing but still rules... so feel free to leave some more tips in the comments... i'll update this post if anything is really crucial!)

1 comments:

Olivia Kissel May 1, 2010 at 12:02 AM  

This is an awesome collection of dance videos, James! Its going to take me awhile to get through these hours of fun.
Thanks so much for the shout out and thanks for the posting!!!

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