Friday, February 10, 2012

The Future of Movement

I am one of those people who will watch people dance for hours at a time. I am fortunate enough that my household growing up was one filled with music of all genres and involvement in music was mandatory.

The one thing that I never explored as a child was dance. I was an active child, embracing martial arts, and sports at a young age.

I always loved watching the dance team and competitve cheer leaders. Many times I would suggest music, do their makeup, and watch them perform silently wishing that I had the guts to learn some dance moves myself.

Years later I am still able to pick out runs, beats, and rhythems modern music has borrowed from the music I grew up appreciating. However I never did learn to dance.

Luckily having been thoroughly ensconced in the african american and gay community I began to see paralells between modern Hip Hop, and Afro Cuban dance that is becoming more and more popular as a medium. With shows such as “So you think you can dance” and international competitions celebrating Hip Hip, Beat Boys, House, Waacking, Punking, and Fusion styles it makes me wonder where is the future of dance? Is the future of movement in our past?

When I was working with some young artists they did everything they could to turn me on to new styles such as “Dub Step” and “Krunking” when I asked if it was similar to Hip Hop the look of pure confusion was comical.

The earliest forms of movement Afro Cuban celebrations religious or otherwise show examples of dance and movement that echo even to modern dance styles today. Waacking and Punking found in their infancy by early “Balls” held in the close knit gay community featured Vogueing, a dance style borrowed by such famous personalities as Madonna.

Even Krunking and Dub Step show moves that mirror traditional dances by peoples such as the Xhosa and Congolese.

Can one even dare make the connection between ballet and lyrical dance? I see similiarities.

So where does that lead us? Is the future of dance embracing singular styles of the past or fusing them together?

I can't answer definitively, I think it is like musical taste, a personal choice up to each individual to follow their heart.

Who knows what form of movement the future brings, as long as it celebrates music, tells a story, and brings joy I am just happy to sit back and watch what comes up.

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