kottke.org posts about dance

Difficult ballet moves in slow motionMay 29 2014

Professional dancers from the Washington Ballet show off their most difficult moves, filmed in slow motion.

(via colossal)

The Heather ProjectMay 04 2014

Heather Project

Heather Ogden is a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada and The Heather Project is a series of short videos shot by Christopher Wahl that shows how beautiful and demanding ballet can be. (via cup of jo)

Folk dancing sortsApr 24 2014

Programming sorting techniques visualized through Eastern European folk dancing. For instance, here's the bubble sort with Hungarian dancing:

See also sorting algorithms visualized. (via @viljavarasto)

The origins of the moonwalkApr 23 2014

We all know Michael Jackson invented the moonwalk on-stage during a performance of Billie Jean at the Motown 25th Anniversary show. What this video presupposes is, maybe he didn't?

What the video shows is that as early as the 1930s, performers such as Fred Astaire, Bill Bailey, Cab Calloway, and Sammy Davis Jr. were doing something like the moonwalk. Now, Jackson didn't get the move from any of these sources, not directly anyway. As Jackson's choreographer Jeffrey Daniel explains, he got the moves from The Electric Boogaloos street dance crew and, according to LaToya Jackson, instructed Michael Jackson.

Which is to say, the moonwalk is yet another example of multiple discovery, along with calculus, the discovery of oxygen, and the invention of the telephone. (via open culture)

The A-to-Z of danceApr 07 2014

Super-cool video from i-D of dance styles for each letter of the alphabet.

(via @Han)

Tractor square dancingJan 31 2014

Tractor Square Dancing

Nothing is more American than tractor square dancing.

The act is exactly what it sounds like. Four seated couples maneuver vintage tractors into daisy chains and do-si-dos in front of a live audience. It would be hard to squeeze more nostalgia into a performance that combines made-in-America machines with our "National Folk Dance."

Click through and check out the embedded video...that is some damn fine precision tractor driving.

Amazing new robot dances to dubstepNov 01 2013

It's not up on their web site or YouTube yet, but I'm pretty sure this is a prototype of a new dancing robot built by Boston Dynamics, makers of the Big Dog, Cheetah, and Petman robots.

Looks similar to Atlas or Petman, but way more advanced...how did they pack all of the circuitry and power supplies into such a small yet realistic-looking housing? (via devour)

How to learn how to dance in a yearJul 10 2013

Karen Cheng learned to dance in a year. Here's a video of her progress, from just a few days in to her final number:

Here's my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work -- Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don't have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry.

This isn't a story about dancing, though. It's about having a dream and not knowing how to get there -- but starting anyway. Maybe you're a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You're an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You're an athlete but you just haven't left the chair yet.

The interesting thing is, Cheng basically did the same thing in her professional life as well.

I decided to become a designer, but I had no design skills. I thought about going back to school for design, but the time and money commitment was too big a risk for a career choice I wasn't totally sure of.

So I taught myself -- everyday I would do my day job in record time and rush home to learn design. Super talented people go to RISD for 4 years and learn design properly. I hacked together my piecemeal design education in 6 months -- there was no way I was ready to become a designer. But I was so ready to leave Microsoft. So I started the job search and got rejected a few times. Then I got the job at Exec.

The first few weeks were rough. Everyday I sat in front of my computer trying my damnedest and thinking it wasn't good enough. But everyday I got a little bit better.

(via hacker news)

Ken Crosgrove dancing + Daft PunkMay 23 2013

[SORTA MAD MEN SPOILERS! but not really] I don't know if Ken Crosgrove dancing on the latest episode of Mad Men is the best thing that's ever been on the show, but it's definitely in the top 10. And it might be even better with a little Daft Punk.

And it might be best with the Crazy in Love cover from Gatsby...just load up that this YT video while watching the animated GIF and you're all set. (This is how Millennials watch TV, BTW...it's all animated GIFs with YouTube video soundtracks. Civilization is gonna be juuuuuuust fine.)

Crazy dancingAug 16 2012

Excuse the dubstep if you must, but Marquese Scott is amazing. Previously.

(via the high definite)

Holy Jesus, look at what this ballerina can do!Jan 11 2012

I have rarely in my life seen something as physically impressive as this performance of Swan Lake:

It's not just what she does, it's how rock-still she is while doing it. Just, wow. (via ★interesting)

Girl Walk // All Day online for freeJan 10 2012

Thanks to Gothamist, you can watch the entirety of Jacob Krupnick's Girl Walk // All Day online. GWAD is a feature-length music video set to Girl Talk's All Day.

Long-toed cowboy bootsJan 10 2012

Long Cowboy Boots

Last year, Vice travelled to Matehuala, Mexico in search of dance crews who wear extremely pointy cowboy boots called botas vaqueras exóticas.

In Matehuala, guarachero has become an unlikely style of music where a bunch of people who in theory should not get along come together and get along. It's also the music preferred by the men and boys in the long and pointed boots.

Participants in these dance contests spend the days and weeks prior choreographing intricate footwork routines and fabricating their own outfits with cheap paint and fabric. The grand prize, beyond the enthusiastic crowd's affection, is either a bottle of whiskey or a few bucks.

(via mlkshk)

Shufflin' grandpaDec 20 2011

One of my favorite things on the internet is footage of old styles of dancing set to contemporary music. Like this:

See also Daft Punk Charleston and Russian dancing (w/ Run DMC). (via ★dunstan)

Girl Walk // All Day NYC premiereNov 29 2011

Girl Walk // All Day is a feature-length dance music video set in NYC...the soundtrack is Girl Talk's All Day. Kickstarter is hosting a premiere for the film (+ dance party) on December 8 at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple...and it's free (you just need to RSVP). Here's the trailer:

100 years of East London fashionAug 30 2011

A couple dances their way through 100 years of fashion, from 1911 to 2011.

Makes you 9 foot tall when you're 4 foot 5Aug 10 2010

The sound, style, and look of Janelle Monae's video for "Tightrope" references a lot of classic pop/art culture: OutKast and Metropolis, certainly, James Brown and Michael Jackson, but also classic R&B performers like Jackie Wilson and avant-garde film like Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon.

It also reminded me, faintly but insistently, of this classic video of Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, from the movie Stormy Weather. (What is it with economic depression => dancing in tuxedos?)

I still think this is the easily most amazing display of deliberate human physicality in dance I've ever seen. Maybe anywhere. (Hit Twitter at @kottke or @tcarmody if you think you've got a better candidate.)

Dancers among usApr 29 2010

Dancers among us

Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us series features dancers from the Paul Taylor and Martha Graham Dance Companies doing everyday out-and-about things in NYC while dancing. (via pdn)

19th century movie in colorSep 28 2009

Each frame of this 19th century film by the Lumière brothers was hand-colored to create an early color moving picture. The color-shifting effect of the dress looks quite modern.

The dancing was inspired by Loie Fuller, a modern dance pioneer.

Loie Fuller

Paris is BurningAug 04 2009

Smashing Telly found the entirety of a documentary called Paris is Burning on YouTube.

This is a documentary about vogueing, and the extremely refined and detailed aesthetic sensibilities it reflects, shot in New York City around Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and Harlem in the mid- to late-80s. The city has changed in dramatic ways since then, to say the least. The characters of the film are complete outsiders with, at the same time, a deep understanding of the world they are outside of.

Check out a recent example of vogue dancing.

Eternal MoonwalkJul 11 2009

This is pretty awesome: a bunch of videos strung together to make it seem like one long moonwalk. In tribute to Michael Jackson, of course. What's amazing is that for the 4-5 minutes I watched, there was not a single decent moonwalk...just people shuffling backwards. (via vsl)

Update: Matt Zoller Seitz analyzes Eternal Moonwalk and finds much to love about it.

Eternal Moonwalk is also an incidental tutorial in the basic properties of cinema. It returns motion pictures to their origin point, when the medium's core appeal was the chance to watch strangers performing, their bodies moving from Point A to Point B, their familiar or amusing actions serving as an emotional connection point, a reminder that we're members of the same species inhabiting the same small world.

Gene Kelly tap dancing on roller skatesApr 30 2009

Video clip from It's Always Fair Weather of Gene Kelly dancing with roller skates on.

The good stuff starts around 2:00. As David says, "putting Kelly on roller skates is like adding polish to wax".

Old school breakdancingFeb 12 2009

Soviet Army dance ensemble + Run DMC = the invention of breakdancing in the mid-1900s.

Here's the same thing mixed with Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice. Reminds me of the previously featured but still awesome video of Al Minns and Leon James doing the Charleston to Daft Punk. Here are two more videos that track the origins and breakdancing and hip-hop dancing in a slightly more formal manner: one, two.

Intimidating cultural appropriationOct 07 2008

The high school football team in Euless, TX (population 52,900) starts their games by performing the haka, a chanting dance used to intimidating effect by New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team. What's odd/interesting about this is that the Maori chant was appropriated by the team's contingent of Tongan players -- whose parents moved to the town to work at DFW airport -- and has led to a greater sense of acceptance of the Tongans into the larger community. How's that for multiculturalism?

This video makes me irrationally happy...IApr 09 2008

This video makes me irrationally happy...I watched it four times in a row just now.

It was the freshest move I've ever seen, like he was floating on air.

And yeah, that's Kanye West's Vimeo account. His blog is entertaining as well; a recent favorite post is YOU CAN'T MAKE ME STOP POSTING YAGHTS!!!

Update: Vimeo erased the video because it was not original content so I pointed to one on YouTube. They also erased all but one video on Kanye's account...I guess they were all videos by other people.

Legendary mime Marcel Marceau died Saturday atSep 23 2007

Legendary mime Marcel Marceau died Saturday at age 84.

Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind."

I tried to find video of that sketch but came up empty.

Update: Here's some video of Marceau teaching wind walking to a class...and miming with Michael Jackson. (thx, andy & mike)

Update: Here's a better video of Marceau doing his wind walk, from a Mel Brooks movie no less. (thx, manuel)

Denis Darzacq's photos of dancers, caught in mid-flight. (thx, david)Feb 13 2007

Denis Darzacq's photos of dancers, caught in mid-flight. (thx, david)

Video of some fellows doing The CharlestonFeb 01 2007

Video of some fellows doing The Charleston to Around the World by Daft Punk. (via buzzfeed)

Update: The two fellows are Al Minns and Leon James...here's the original video. In the final 30 seconds or so of the video, they almost look like they're poppin' and lockin'. (thx, paul)

Doin' the robot has never looked soJan 17 2007

Doin' the robot has never looked so good in this video for Uniqlo. (via wider angle)

BIRD FLU DANCE WATCH! A bird flu "Jun 07 2006

BIRD FLU DANCE WATCH! A bird flu "riddim" from January 2006 from a student in South Africa (originally from Botswana). Not sure how this ties into either version of the flu dance (a third strain?).

Video of a man performing the history of dance. Awesome.May 09 2006

Video of a man performing the history of dance. Awesome.

Researching quantum honeybeesJun 14 2005

Researching quantum honeybees. Can bees detect quantum fields and use them to find food?

Trailer for Rize, David LaChapelle's film about krump dancingMay 16 2005

Trailer for Rize, David LaChapelle's film about krump dancing.

New iPod ad features some poppin' and lockin'May 15 2005

New iPod ad features some poppin' and lockin'. And I'm pretty sure David "Elsewhere" Bernal is in there somewhere as well. Finally!

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