The A-to-Z of dance Apr 07 2014
Super-cool video from i-D of dance styles for each letter of the alphabet.
Super-cool video from i-D of dance styles for each letter of the alphabet.
Nothing is more American than tractor square dancing.
The act is exactly what it sounds like. Four seated couples maneuver vintage tractors into daisy chains and do-si-dos in front of a live audience. It would be hard to squeeze more nostalgia into a performance that combines made-in-America machines with our "National Folk Dance."
Click through and check out the embedded video...that is some damn fine precision tractor driving.
Looks similar to Atlas or Petman, but way more advanced...how did they pack all of the circuitry and power supplies into such a small yet realistic-looking housing? (via devour)
Karen Cheng learned to dance in a year. Here's a video of her progress, from just a few days in to her final number:
Here's my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work -- Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don't have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry.
This isn't a story about dancing, though. It's about having a dream and not knowing how to get there -- but starting anyway. Maybe you're a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You're an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You're an athlete but you just haven't left the chair yet.
The interesting thing is, Cheng basically did the same thing in her professional life as well.
I decided to become a designer, but I had no design skills. I thought about going back to school for design, but the time and money commitment was too big a risk for a career choice I wasn't totally sure of.
So I taught myself -- everyday I would do my day job in record time and rush home to learn design. Super talented people go to RISD for 4 years and learn design properly. I hacked together my piecemeal design education in 6 months -- there was no way I was ready to become a designer. But I was so ready to leave Microsoft. So I started the job search and got rejected a few times. Then I got the job at Exec.
The first few weeks were rough. Everyday I sat in front of my computer trying my damnedest and thinking it wasn't good enough. But everyday I got a little bit better.
(via hacker news)
[SORTA MAD MEN SPOILERS! but not really] I don't know if Ken Crosgrove dancing on the latest episode of Mad Men is the best thing that's ever been on the show, but it's definitely in the top 10. And it might be even better with a little Daft Punk.
And it might be best with the Crazy in Love cover from Gatsby...just load up that this YT video while watching the animated GIF and you're all set. (This is how Millennials watch TV, BTW...it's all animated GIFs with YouTube video soundtracks. Civilization is gonna be juuuuuuust fine.)
Excuse the dubstep if you must, but Marquese Scott is amazing. Previously.
(via the high definite)
I have rarely in my life seen something as physically impressive as this performance of Swan Lake:
It's not just what she does, it's how rock-still she is while doing it. Just, wow. (via ★interesting)
Thanks to Gothamist, you can watch the entirety of Jacob Krupnick's Girl Walk // All Day online. GWAD is a feature-length music video set to Girl Talk's All Day.
Last year, Vice travelled to Matehuala, Mexico in search of dance crews who wear extremely pointy cowboy boots called botas vaqueras exóticas.
In Matehuala, guarachero has become an unlikely style of music where a bunch of people who in theory should not get along come together and get along. It's also the music preferred by the men and boys in the long and pointed boots.
Participants in these dance contests spend the days and weeks prior choreographing intricate footwork routines and fabricating their own outfits with cheap paint and fabric. The grand prize, beyond the enthusiastic crowd's affection, is either a bottle of whiskey or a few bucks.
One of my favorite things on the internet is footage of old styles of dancing set to contemporary music. Like this:
Girl Walk // All Day is a feature-length dance music video set in NYC...the soundtrack is Girl Talk's All Day. Kickstarter is hosting a premiere for the film (+ dance party) on December 8 at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple...and it's free (you just need to RSVP). Here's the trailer:
A couple dances their way through 100 years of fashion, from 1911 to 2011.
The sound, style, and look of Janelle Monae's video for "Tightrope" references a lot of classic pop/art culture: OutKast and Metropolis, certainly, James Brown and Michael Jackson, but also classic R&B performers like Jackie Wilson and avant-garde film like Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon.
It also reminded me, faintly but insistently, of this classic video of Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, from the movie Stormy Weather. (What is it with economic depression => dancing in tuxedos?)
I still think this is the easily most amazing display of deliberate human physicality in dance I've ever seen. Maybe anywhere. (Hit Twitter at @kottke or @tcarmody if you think you've got a better candidate.)
Each frame of this 19th century film by the Lumière brothers was hand-colored to create an early color moving picture. The color-shifting effect of the dress looks quite modern.
The dancing was inspired by Loie Fuller, a modern dance pioneer.
Smashing Telly found the entirety of a documentary called Paris is Burning on YouTube.
This is a documentary about vogueing, and the extremely refined and detailed aesthetic sensibilities it reflects, shot in New York City around Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and Harlem in the mid- to late-80s. The city has changed in dramatic ways since then, to say the least. The characters of the film are complete outsiders with, at the same time, a deep understanding of the world they are outside of.
Check out a recent example of vogue dancing.
This is pretty awesome: a bunch of videos strung together to make it seem like one long moonwalk. In tribute to Michael Jackson, of course. What's amazing is that for the 4-5 minutes I watched, there was not a single decent moonwalk...just people shuffling backwards. (via vsl)
Update: Matt Zoller Seitz analyzes Eternal Moonwalk and finds much to love about it.
Eternal Moonwalk is also an incidental tutorial in the basic properties of cinema. It returns motion pictures to their origin point, when the medium's core appeal was the chance to watch strangers performing, their bodies moving from Point A to Point B, their familiar or amusing actions serving as an emotional connection point, a reminder that we're members of the same species inhabiting the same small world.
The good stuff starts around 2:00. As David says, "putting Kelly on roller skates is like adding polish to wax".
Soviet Army dance ensemble + Run DMC = the invention of breakdancing in the mid-1900s.
Here's the same thing mixed with Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice. Reminds me of the previously featured but still awesome video of Al Minns and Leon James doing the Charleston to Daft Punk. Here are two more videos that track the origins and breakdancing and hip-hop dancing in a slightly more formal manner: one, two.
The high school football team in Euless, TX (population 52,900) starts their games by performing the haka, a chanting dance used to intimidating effect by New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team. What's odd/interesting about this is that the Maori chant was appropriated by the team's contingent of Tongan players -- whose parents moved to the town to work at DFW airport -- and has led to a greater sense of acceptance of the Tongans into the larger community. How's that for multiculturalism?
This video makes me irrationally happy...I watched it four times in a row just now.
It was the freshest move I've ever seen, like he was floating on air.
Update: Vimeo erased the video because it was not original content so I pointed to one on YouTube. They also erased all but one video on Kanye's account...I guess they were all videos by other people.
Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind."
I tried to find video of that sketch but came up empty.
Update: Here's some video of Marceau teaching wind walking to a class...and miming with Michael Jackson. (thx, andy & mike)
Update: Here's a better video of Marceau doing his wind walk, from a Mel Brooks movie no less. (thx, manuel)
Denis Darzacq's photos of dancers, caught in mid-flight. (thx, david)
Update: The two fellows are Al Minns and Leon James...here's the original video. In the final 30 seconds or so of the video, they almost look like they're poppin' and lockin'. (thx, paul)
BIRD FLU DANCE WATCH! A bird flu "riddim" from January 2006 from a student in South Africa (originally from Botswana). Not sure how this ties into either version of the flu dance (a third strain?).
Researching quantum honeybees. Can bees detect quantum fields and use them to find food?
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