"According to most people who show interest in cultures and especially in the culture of Gouro ethnic group, Zaouli, a popular mask dance, was created in the fifties. The Gouro ethnic group is the midwestern part of Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. According to what people say, there are diverse legends regarding the origin of the Zaouli mask and dance; yet, all come to the agreement that such legends were inspired by a very beautiful girl - 'Dzela Lou Zaouli' - daughter of Zaouli." -- Gouro Culture
I'm proud of my wife and daughter who are both beginning ballet students. They'll enjoy this documentary about the making of ballet shoes! (via Digg)
Tomorrow night, San Francisco's pioneering contemporary dance company ODC will premiere a new work inspired by famed sculptor/environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy with live music by experimental cellist and loop musician Zoë Keating, likely familiar to Boing Boing readers from previous BB posts, or her appearances on Radiolab and Who Killed Amanda Palmer. For this piece, titled "boulders and bones," ODC artistic directors Branda Way and KT Nelson took choreographic inspiration from the ever-transforming landscapes of art and nature. The visual context of the dance comes from a time-lapse film by RJ Muna shot during the seven-month installation of a Goldsworthy sculpture at private location north of San Francisco.
Performances of "boulders and bones," along with several other works, will be held through March 30. Tickets are available here. Boing Boing is delighted to share the special video below from a "boulders and bones" rehearsal, along with another stunning photograph of dancer Natasha Adorlee Johnson by RJ Muna.
Souris writes, "Scriptura Vitae is the directorial debut of New York-based artist, designer and filmmaker Aerosyn-lex Mestrovic. Having collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and KENZO, Mestrovic's latest venture is an ambitious three-part journey into the unknown that showcases Lex's haunting ritualistic calligraphy, alongside stunningly choreographed Japanese Butoh performances set to a score which features original music by the Grammy Nominated DIPLO. The film stars famed Japanese actress Miho Nikaido, best known for her role in the cult-classic and previously banned film Tokyo Decadence which was written and directed by lauded novelist Ryu Murakami. The effects in the film are visually striking, combining modern compositing with in-camera painting to devise something wholly unique."
If you're the type of person who really needs some good visuals to make a concept stick in your head, this series of YouTube videos made by the British Psychological Society Media Centre will help you remember the meanings behind statistical concepts like "correlation", "frequency distributions", and "sampling error". There are four videos in the series so far, and they do a great job of painting pictures around abstract ideas. Bonus: Soothing music.
Bill Nye turns out to be a pretty amazing dancer -- in this Dancing With the Stars clip, he starts off with a surprisingly coordinated ballroom performance, which is honed to a just terrific performance.
Portland's Chromatics put on a dazzling show at last weekend's Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. Chromatics' Johnny Jewel is also co-founder of Italians Do It Better, a record label that serves as a hub for his various projects, including Chromatics and Glass Candy, and other artists playing in the interzone of Euro-disco, no-wave, and experimental electronica. Italians Do It Better's After Dark compilation from 2007 is a critically-acclaimed intro to the label and genre. On the heels of Jewel's success with Chromatics, including their music being featured on the Drive soundtrack and a commission by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld for the Chanel runway, he's remastered and reissued After Dark. Sadly, I missed out on the triple clear vinyl version, but Jewel has posted the full album on Soundcloud for free download! And if that's not enough for you, there's now a fantastic sequel, After Dark 2, available for purchase from the label in various physical formats and also as a free download from Soundcloud! Listen to 'em both below. The boogie's gonna get ya. Italians Do It Better (Thanks, Patrick Kelly!)
Dance In a Year documents Karen's year-long dance training (see the accompanying and inspiring timelapse video). Basically, she danced all the time, wherever she was, until she got really, really good at it. She also applied the same technique to learning design, and landed a good job as a designer as well. She has lots of motivational and inspiring tips for getting good at something; step one is to be totally obsessed, which is great advice, but hard to pull off on demand.
Record videos of yourself dancing. I know, it's awkward, especially when you're just starting out. I can't stress this enough, though.
You'll see things in the videos you didn't catch in the mirror. You'll think you danced well, and then you'll watch it back and be mortified. Embrace those moments — that's when the learning happens. Where do you look stiff? What could you be moving more? Carefully watch videos of the pros. What are they doing differently?
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.Subway Ballet