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September 20, 2006


Posted by dogpossum on September 20, 2006 7:47 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

There are so many things I could say about this clip.
I could start with the fact this is 'traditional' Korean music and costume, matched with 'traditional' beat box and breaking (with some seriously old school moves in there - a real grabfest for anyone who's ever watched a fair amount of break dancing). And then I could go on to talk about how this is a peculiarly Korean way of moving and dancing - these are not African American dancers, nor do they dance or move like black Americans. This is Korean dance... or a Korean appropriation of a black American dance and musical form and costume and...? And then, that this is a Korean appropriation of a classical piece of music, in a hip hop context - how wonderful!

Then I could talk about the beauty of the round performance space - the perfect jam circle, with the viewer invited to take up the empty space and join in - to become part of the jam. The inclusion of the musicians in this circle only emphasises the way dance and music are inextricably bound.

And then, of course, there is the use of editing, focus, pans, cuts, etc etc to exaggerate and emphasise certain aspects of the choreography - to speed up fast parts, to add staccato to jagged movements, to highlight small movements which might otherwise be lost. The use of a constantly moving camera to heighten that sense of movement, which - if you've ever stood at the edge of a jam circle, digging what you see, or perhaps considering coming in - is exactly how it feels and looks. As part of the audience, you move with the dancers and the music. This is more than call and response, it is cooperative meaning making at its most pleasurable. And do I need to mention the use of video 'screens' in the shot to emphasise the presence of the musicians, in the face of such mesmerising physical display?

And if I had more time, I'd talk about the use of light, the use of colour, and what all this means for an art form that is so heavily inflected by discourses of skin colour and shade...


Posted by dogpossum on September 20, 2006 7:47 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances