i'm not much one for choreographed dancing. i've done it, quit it, and failed at it when my memory started going around my 16th birthday. i'm somewhat impressed by it, usually bored by it, and overcome with disturbing thoughts that mass synchronicity could strip my mind of creativity.
sure, i watch old episodes of Hullabaloo, or Hollywood A Go-Go (Gazzarri girls) looking for tidbits of inspiration, but the dancers that really move me are on Soul Train or independently contracted go-go girls. So that's why i've never explored the "Pan's People" group. Because the founder, Flick Colby, just died, i've watched a few videos of Pan's People performing.
Here's my favourite so far:
What I don't like about choreography is the ACTING aspect. I don't think lyrics should be the driving force in how to move your body. I've never had a penchant for singers, and I think singers and their lyrics are the most easily accessible aspect of music--the extent of the "simple-man's" grasp of music. I'm most interested in rhythm, but possess an ingrained partiality for melody thanks to Jimi Hendrix as the most intense influence on my personal musical upbringing. A sense of rhythm is by far the most important in dance. I'm interested in dancers who are acutely aware of their body and can isolate movements, anticipate changes in the music, and have the ability to interact with the music in terms of time signature, have a sense of playfulness, and ultimately aren't dancing for anyone or anything but their own shear enjoyment.
in other words, i'm really fuckin' picky.
i mainly watch other dancers for hand and foot movements. hand positions and what to do with your arms is a long, hard road of experimenting and comfortableness. i've always concentrated primarily on working from my abdomen out, and generally believe you should keep the majority of movement close to your body because bigger movements should be reserved for only the most dramatic situations.
Here's some of Flick's advice (taken directly from this post made by Miss. Peelpants:
"When you're dancing, bypass your head, by-pass your mind and dance from your middle. The minute you start to concentrate on the effect you are making, you are not 'sent'. You look uptight and stiff."
"It's essential to know what you look like," she says. "Once you know exactly what happens — when you move your arm in a particular movement, you will feel more confident. You can't make a fool of yourself."
"Wear as little as possible. Remember it's hot dancing. If you've got good legs, wear a short, short skirt; if you've got a good midriff, wear it bare. Make the most of what you've got and wear something that flatters you. Fringes on things will accentuate your movement, and so will a belt with a big buckle hung on the hips. Don't wear something dark; try to swing in something light, or sequined, so you show up and don't just melt into the shadows. Shoes with a clumpy heel are good, but boots support your ankles. Listen to lots of pop. It helps if you know a record. You're prepared. You know what's going to happen next. You can relax land enjoy it." Above all, Flick says, "Don't fling your arms around. Keep it neat and tidy. Keep it close. You want to look good, not pretentious."
I'll leave you with
this is my personal favourite of all time.
DEE DEE SHARP'S "MASHED POTATO"
hear "Monster Mash," much? the mashed potato is impossible!
THE CASTAWAYS' "LIAR LIAR"
p.s. what, is the drummer, like, 14?! what's the worst lip-syncing YOU'VE ever watched?
'n sum SOUL TRAIN!
Swallow Crystals and Laugh Prisms.
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