Sunday, October 03, 2004

I wonder if bloggers like to dance. Not jump up and down by themselves, but dance with someone.

As be.jazz should have made fairly obvious by now, I'm not really a ballet person, preferring more popular and overtly sexual forms. Tango seems to bridge the two, the only ballroom style to retain horizontal inclinations. But I've only seen more showy tango, so maybe the "real," sweaty and humid kind is different.

A few years ago at a salsa night, two couples followed each other. The first, young and flashy, dazzled. The second, comprised of an older man and a much younger woman, produced no sparks but moved easily and breathed together - communicated organically, showing the prior pair to be pre-programmed. When you're not born into it, salsa is really difficult to get comfortable with, I find, and the difficult-to-find-and-keep beat doesn't help matters.

A similar experience at a friend's wedding. Many produced impressive moves, but clearly learnt at a school: all did the same things, in the same ways, over and over. The bride's parents, however, did nothing of the sort: close together, stepping, stopping, turning on invisble, barely implied cues. It was beautiful and completely changed my way of seeing things on the dancefloor.

More individualistically, I'm happy that over the last 5-6 years dancing has come back into videos, first in the form of breakdancing (I remember that Run DMC remix as a turning point). The trend seems to be quietening down now, unfortunately. Great choreography was often marred by cinematography that preferred to focus trivial stuff and show only flashes of the interesting stuff.

Speaking of breakdancing, I can't help but think of it when watching men's floor gymnastics. And from there, thinking of technique and risk-taking as an antidote to difficult conditions. The photos in the 3CD Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five anthology put out by Sequel Records captures this: kids launch themselves off an old trampoline onto battered mattresses in a junkyard, somersaulting against a backdrop of depressing housing blocks.