Cannot sugar coat this. It’s the rad-est thing I’ve seen all day.
Some people ride bikes in the rain. Other people dance.
Originally seen on Neatorama
I have no idea why, but I find this mesmerizing as all get up. Just the sheer exuberance. What is that? Oh, wait. Is that… fun? Are they having fun? Love the old guy who looks like he’s asleep.
Couldn’t do that in NY. I have to walk barefoot in my apartment or my downstairs neighbor has a shit fit.
The story behind this footage:
Way back in 1964, New York filmmaker, David Hoffman was headed down with his new 16mm hand help camera (weight 49 lbs!) to spend three weeks driving the backcountry around Madison County, North Carolina, in the center of Appalachia, with the 82 year old founder of the pioneer Asheville Mountain Music and Dance Festival, Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The resulting film, “Bluegrass Roots” lets you hear and experience the hard scrabbling, dirt road real people sounds that dominated the back country of the southern mountains 40 years ago. It presents a string of the most extraordinary singers, players and dancers the BlueGrass Mountains had to offer. Many later became famous. Some were never heard from again. Most of the songs are classics, including Lunsford’s own tune, “Mountain Dew.” This scene was filmed at Bascom’s home with a local dance group came to dance in Bascom’s living room.
When this film aired on Public Television in 1965, TV Guide gave it a full-page positive review, because Americans had never seen a documentary on the roots of Bluegrass and Country music. Today, the dirt roads and the moonshine counties are largely modernized, and Bluegrass Roots, stands as a record of a uniquely talented group of people at a time just before the coming of television, changed them.
See, it can be interesting if you’re just a little creative about it!
Ah, the unbridled joy of dancing around with headphones on. In a nutshell, Davey Dance Blog is “A project started while traveling Europe during Spring 2007. Armed only with an ipod and a Canon PowerShot, Davey picks a location and a pop song. Then Davey records an improvised dance.”
Some of them have just Davey doing his thing, while others get more participatory (like this one on the subway). There are oodles to choose from, but I’ve decided to feature the one below because it takes a beautiful day, the wonder of tourists, a great song and smashes them together like well-cooked potatoes in a saucepan. Keep on rockin’ out in the free world, Davey!
I’m gonna do something that I wouldn’t normally do, and then somehow come full circle and end up talking about writing. Watch me wriggle this!
I’m gonna talk about dance. GASP I already know what my two readers (and that may have just shrunk to one), are thinking:
“We’ve seen you dance. You always look like you’re about to be slightly sick in a body that doesn’t belong to you.”
That’s true. But I’m not talking about how I dance. I’m talking about movement and the art that is ability to control movement in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Dance is like poetry. The stringing together of thought or a theme to create a single, unifying piece. Each step a line. Each movement a word. People who wrangle that movement in dance blow my mind. To control all the fiber and muscle, then play it like an instrument. Great sportsmen have this ability too. And all I can say is, what a gift!
Take a look at the clip below from the dance film, Amelia.
Let’s get this out of the way. I’m putting up my hands and saying that you can fit what I know about dance on a gnat’s beret. So there’s not going to be any insightful, um, anything here. I just liked it. Gut reaction (I just hit my gut for effect, but you didn’t see, and it looked awkward anyway.)
I liked it because it’s both fluid and staccato, still and frantic. It’s like there are verses, and punctuation, and verbs and nouns. The music is the page on which it’s all written.
And the way these cats move. Holy shit sticks in a crayon case! The very end where she’s stretched, frozen out and balancing on one pointe – the control is incredible (and it looks like a scene out of the Matrix.) I’m so jealous.
I have enough trouble walking coherently. But tell me if this has ever happened to you.
From time to time, when the musical rhythm of the iPod in my ear is just so, something weird will happen. I’ll be walking along a wintry NY street with my scarf pulled up to my ears and my hat pulled down to brow level.
This street soundtrack in my ears dictates my steps, my pace and amble. And suddenly I notice I no longer have to stop at any street corners for a light. Life just flows, and I walk on and on, crossing streets and turning at the right time to continue my momentum. It’s like churn journey. Everything conspires to make it perfect. All of a sudden it’s like I’m following a script, and there’s an anatomical cord strung along hips and spine and arms and legs to co-ordinate my movement.
It’s fluid and surprising. And totally out of character. What do they call that, when that happens? Apart from awesome.
This is perhaps a very long-winded way to get back around to rhythm in writing – which is what the above clip made me think of. There’s a line from an old Fred Dagg (John Clarke) book:
“A poem, very briefly, is a short novel you can fox-trot to.”
I like to think of writing as dance, interpretive or otherwise. It’s like when you hit that stride, that movement, the perfect run together sequence of words and sentences. Thoughts that spring new thoughts and continue the run of pen on paper.
I was writing in a café on Friday and just got in this click of words that grabbed each other and danced for a whole page, and it was exhilarating.
It only lasted a page, and when I finished I was afraid that it was all a joke played on me by a brain that had sucked on a coffee sponge. But I read the passage again today, and I am filled with a new sense of hope. That yes, I can do this dance. That I can actually produce something that isn’t a piece of pap that disrespects the very paper it’s printed on. I may not physically be able to dance worth a dime, but this novel is my dance floor, and I think I just found my disco shoes.
(But I still need freelance. I’m just sayin’. Any leads gratefully accepted.)