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Art can be Cool

Cool can be Art

“Imagination gets to the heart of what new combinations can bring. In a way, that was best epitomized not on a stage this year, but in the viral video for the song “Back on 74” by Jungle, the British electronic music band, from its album “Volcano"....I love the entire film. But the “Back on 74” video is a stand-alone masterpiece of music and dance, of funk and rhythm.” -- Gia Kourlas

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/26/arts/dance/dance-in-2023-the-cool-genre.html

Yes, here it is again -- “Jungle - Back On 74”

And the ‘Album Video.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU5tSF6k-m8

And once again….it makes you feel good !

And this one is also about Moves, Amazing Moves !

And speaking of Moves, give this a try — “Russian Seasons” — Alexei Ratmansky. (Bolshoi performances highly recommended). Here’s some quieter footage, an ‘official release’ glimpse from NYCB.

https://www.facebook.com/nycballet/videos/flash-footage-maria-kowrowski-in-alexi-ratmanskys-russian-seasons/10160194344490529/

Cool/Art —some other dance groups come to  mind. Ballet Black, Complexions….The Jabbawockeez….

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
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And, hopefully, this will rise to the top of the charts again someday. I really believe that it should.

View 1:28:50-1:34:20

Mariinsky Ballet

 

You are the night, you are the ocean -- You are the light behind a cloud

You are the end and the beginning -- A world where time is not allowed

There's no such thing as competition -- To find our way, we lose control

Remember, love's our only mission -- This is a journey of the soul

The perfect song is framed with silence -- It speaks of places never seen

Your home's a promise long forgotten -- It is the birthplace of your dreams

("Beyond" — Daft Punk)

 

Cool !

 

 

Edited by Buddy
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Dancing Within A Dance

"Back On 74" - Official Behind The Scenes (also see video posted above)

 

Added: I believe that I read that all the dance sequences (approx. 50 minutes Total) in the Album Video were filmed in single takes. Rather impressive, shows the fine quality of these dancers, the choreographer and the production team and is somewhat a look back at ‘50s pop music when all recordings were made that way along with a lot of Fred Astaire's movie dancing. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU5tSF6k-m8

 

And....

"For  his first ballet as artistic director [Dance Theater of Harlem] next year, Garland wants to lean into the 1970s. But not like the way he did with “Higher Ground,” his acclaimed work exploring social injustice through Stevie Wonder’s music. “I’m going to go back to that other side, just for some fun,” he said. “Also, I love these dancers. They’re in a moment now where they are wanting to express their joy.”

"Recently, he tested this theory. During a rehearsal break, he played “Movin’,” by the funk group Brass Construction. “I saw them moving, and I was like, Oh, they’re getting this, they’re feeling this,” he said. “Like, Alexandra Hutchinson gets up and starts doing her thing. I love them in that way. They are fully ballet dancers and fully Black people. It’s kind of like, hello? What else do you expect? This is who we are.” "

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/24/arts/dance/robert-garland-dance-theater-of-harlem.html

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
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So how does Alexei Ratmansky slip through the cracks into Cool !  ?  (see the two video clips just above)

How does he do alongside this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-fKUhF7WXs

and even this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SIeJ5PZQSw&t=2s

He’s got The Moves, Man, The Moves !   😄

And what else, when he wants, he’s got ‘quirk’ and he’s got ‘whimsey.’ He’s looking at us, he’s ‘fun*kin’ on us. Like George Balanchine, at times, he’s got a sense of humor, he can play games on us. He can lightheartedly flip the rhythm, the mood, the style, the reality, to remind us that “I see you !”

And perhaps best, it's Natural -- And it's Beautiful.

Even a hardcore hipster might cop to seeing/feeling something here.

You don't have to Rock to be Cool !  And you certainly don't have to be "Cool" to be Cool ! .

 

Edited by Buddy
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Posted (edited)

I’d like to venture into the more serious for a moment and take another quick look at Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas First Pas de Deux (see video above). In her introduction, Stella Abrera says that she considers this work to be one of the most beautiful in the American Ballet Theatre repertoire.

It is indeed beautiful. So how do such things as ‘quirk’ and ‘whimsey’ fit in.  They, more subtly than in some other of his works, punctuate this dance, but to my eye they definitely exist. So do they undermine the beautiful continuity ?  Without them this work would probably be a statement of ethereal magnificence, such as the Swan Lake duet (pas de deux). You can’t really ask for more than that.

But I would say that in this work such things as ‘quirk’ and ‘whimsey’ add another dimension. This is not to say that they make it better or worse, just another form of equally beautiful expression, as in the way that a child’s innocently inconsistant responses do the same thing with heart touching effect.

Edited by Buddy
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As a possibly interesting contrast to Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas First Pas de Deux (see video above) and related to what I wrote in the previous post, look at the beautifully uninterrupted flow in this dance as contrasted to Alexei Ratmansky’s more animated creation.

Africa Guzman´s Sweet and Bitter (Pas de Deux) - Ballet West

 

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‘ Cool ! ’ , I believe, may also speak especially to the times in which it’s happening. It touches our lives now.

This one is powerful !  And it is a masterpiece !

It’s part of the poetry of life that says that Beauty can transcend. It does here.

From the video clip introduction — “In her autobiography Dancing Spirit, Ms. Jamison wrote: "Exactly where the woman is going through the ballet's three sections was never explained to me by Alvin. In my interpretation, she represented those women before her who came from the hardships of slavery, through the pain of losing loved ones, through overcoming extraordinary depressions and tribulations. Coming out of a world of pain and trouble, she has found her way-and triumphed.” ”

This is an officially released video clip from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. There’s also an unofficially posted one of the entire work, which I really recommend if you can’t see an actual performance or are unable to buy a compilation video (which would be great, as this company, like so many artistic ones, can really use the proceeds.)

 

 

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