BB contributor Mark Dery points us to a lovely New York Time video and article about "Subway Ballet." Mark says:
Like breakdancing, parkour, urban climbing, and Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the World Trade Towers, this is my idea of the inspired wedding of art, sport, and what Hakim Bey called "temporary autonomous zones"---brief-lived pockets of anarcho-carnivalesque resistance to…call it what you will: the daily grind, the status quo, the "unitary urbanism" imposed on city life by capitalism.
DarkSide was a Dallas teen dance club whose owners attempted to wrap it in a legal spiritual envelope to stop it from being shut down. In the Dallas Observer, Anna Merlan looked into "The Bizarre Life and Troubling Death of DarkSide, the Dallas Rave Church That Never Was." Here's the best quote:
"The media made it out to be a sex-infested, drug-infested underground rave club that was run by a pedophile and raver kids who didn't give a damn," (DJ John Wayne) says now. His voice rises a little. "That's bullshit. Yes, there were drugs. Yes, Tommy is a pedophile. But there was a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning, a deeper connection. This wasn't just something we did on weekends. This was our life."
Reminds me a bit of the Nine O'Clock Service, a cyberdelic early-1990s rave church in the UK that fell from grace after the minister was investigated and ultimately confessed to abusing young women in the group.
What's the story? A young dancer finds herself disgruntled with her low-paying, mundane waitressing job. One day, she impulsively quits, then takes a ferry to the city. Feeling incredibly inspired by what she sees, Anne dances her way across New York, using the city as her stage. Throughout her journey, she meets characters of all types, including a series of like-minded dancers, who'll inspire new movements, engage her in small battles, and teach her to fear, love, laugh and live anew. From the ferry to museums, subways, ball games, bridges, bodegas, graveyards, flower shops, and more, Anne's journey will bring her far and wide. See the trailer, in full, at http://girlwalkallday.com
Here's Japan's Wrecking Crew Orchestra performing some pretty wonderful dance moves made all the better by their electroluminescent wire garments, which cause them to seemingly wink in and out of existence on the dark stage
Get your weekend going with Garoto Nacional by Strausz, a blast of anime, explosions, monsters, NSFW flesh, etc., set to a pounding dance track of similar dimensions. [Video Link. Released by Penetra Records]
Video Link. YouTuber Adam Forgie of Utah, the person behind the camera, shoots these lovely videos with some regularity. "I take care of my legally-blind, near-deaf grandmother," he explains. "She may be blind, but she can still dance! She likes the attention." You can follow her on Twitter here.
Update: Boing Boing readers in various spots around the world report that the video is blocked in certain countries outside the US. This is dumb. Sorry.
Jason Kottke rounds up a series of YouTube clips of "old styles of dancing set to contemporary music" including this Shufflin' Grandpa doing fast-footed country dancing with a dubstepcontemporary electronic soundtrack.
At the Atlantic, science historian Suzanne Fischer has a really interesting post up about the development of pointe shoes. In the early 20th century, at a time when all sorts of technologies were remaking the way people lived, worked, and played, pointe shoes were doing the same thing for ballerinas.
In particular, Fischer writes, pointe shoes were almost the dance equivalent of Henry Ford's assembly line—they standardized bodies and turned dancers into a sleek, modern commodity.
... the new shoes forced dancers' bodies to move in new ways. Dancers on this pointe regimen developed characteristically long, lean leg muscles. Balanchine also encouraged dancers to let the shoes remake their bodies, including developing bunions that gave the foot just the right line. And as their bodies were remade, dancers became "like IBM machines," modern and indistinguishable. This had consequences for labor, too. For one, stars became a less central feature of dance companies as dancers became more interchangeable, and second, dancers came to spend hours working on their shoes -- altering, gluing, and caring for them. In fact, in 1980 dancers threatened to strike -- not over hours or pay, but for better pointe shoes, and better management of them.
This clip from the 2007 American Lindy Hop Championships features a pair of talented hoofers cutting a rug to a cool jazz rendition of the Spider Man theme, and the fella is wearing a Spider Man getup. It's aces.
(via The Mary Sue)
You might be familiar with "Jan Pehechan-Ho," Mohammed Rafi's Bollywood anthem, from the opening credits of Ghost World, but have you seen the fabulous accompanying dance number from the original film Gumnaam?
Every year, intrepid Ph.D. students face off in a high-stakes competition for honor, glory, and the intermingling of science and art. The goal: Dance your Ph.D. thesis. I showed you the finalists last year. This year, Science magazine has posted all 53 entries online, before the finalists are chosen. I'll confess, I've not yet watched them all. So I can't say this is my favorite, but it is well-done and did immediately catch my attention.
The dissertation research began with a two-choice, forced-interval experiment in which 29 humans were asked to rate isolated sounds from most to least percussive. The sound characteristic of rise time was found to be the most correlated with percussion of the characteristics tested. The experiment is represented in the dance by the first two interactions between Alain and Shiny, during which Shiny expresses his inability to correctly choose the stronger percussion sound.
... The final stage of the dissertation research was to use the detection algorithm with real-world music to discover self-similarity in the percussion patterns. By using auto-correlation analysis, the detection algorithm can be used to time the repetition and near repetition in music percussion. Shiny demonstrates the self-similarity of the music by several final repetitve dance moves, repeating appropriately at the time scale of beats, measures, and phrases.