Wk 1: 31 July. Popping, Locking, Electric Boogaloo

Today’s Popping, Locking and Electric Boogaloo session with Dave Croft was the most hardcore session yet in movement and choreography for me. I trained hard hard hard and don’t feel I’ve retained anything that I can put into decent practice from the session without looking really rather absurd and devoid of any rhythm and understanding of joints and limbs being part of my one body.

Popping, Locking and Electric Boogaloo I learnt aren’t in fact BBoy style or indeed hip hop dance or breaking, just as in art, these are distinct forms and syntax to a certain style of movement, and the entire backlog of movement morphology to go with it, origins, percussion, influence, it’s histrography from Social Dance and the Party.

Personally, I have soul when dancing, I used to be called JayPow by friends in fact when dancing since I could dance forever, music is the soul.

Electro, drum n bass, soul, hip hop, rap… I wrote my thesis on electro music and the visual arts crossing into performance- examining Warp Records, Sonar Festival and the Intelligent Listening Experience to Cage and synaesthesia,  how sound and movement has always been intrinsic to my art practice. From the very idea of life into art, inviting Juice Aleem (New Flesh From Old) to open Paradise Stories with a personal MC rap in response to my works, or even back to my Sonic Blob when I invited a MJ dance impersonator to come into dance around my sculptural blobs, there was something about the breath, utterance, sound and sweat- the visceral of blood pumping the veins and the lyrical ruse of body and vocals resonating with the audience, the works. Injecting another layer of vitality into my artforms.

So today’s session was quite emotional for me. We ran through base foundation moves and attempted to assemble them together. Only three, four moves, an Egyptian walk, followed by a twist… should be relatively straightforward, but indeed proved to empty me out of any propensity to dance naturally. Indeed, the sheer degree of discipline, toil, practice of the technicalities involved in dancing in these various street styles is overwhelmingly military almost. First the hard work, then the fun. Dave has trained only with the best, going to California to learn from the originator of electric boogaloo himself, Sam Soloman.

Dave certainly has a lot of patience. There reached a point in fact when Dave’s words slipped away from me as did his actions- I was pretty tired by the end of the session and my thinking brain could no longer compute the disparate moves with my atomised limbs. Indeed, the isolation of limbs, with movement and then to the musicality of instruments and actually moving your body was a lot for my free form JayPow body to take in. Snare and drums… when I heard the fine selection of songs Dave had brought along, my favourite Gangstarr track… I just wanted to forget this rigity robotty prevention scheme and funk the hell out. But I couldn’t because suddenly I was very much atomised into contracting my arms in a monotone repetitive ‘pop’ that I thought looked rather good, when really, it would be surprising for a child  not to have learnt that in a few seconds rather than a three hour personal popping session.

Nevermind, as Dave said, it’s a dance, and it’s about individuality. So, it’s with this in mind that I enter a completely different form tomorrow of Contemporary Dance tomorrow, whilst a certain degree of anxiety of next Friday’s Breaking session with Dave’s co-dancer, Adam.

I hope I am still alive for the performance on the tenth August.

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I hear what you say but I am not sure my body does….


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See Opening Talk & Performance, 27 July 2013, 2pm

See here for the Dancer, Participant & DVD Amnesty Open Calls

Main Shadow Dance text

See Schedule here

See other Documentation here

See Closing Event, Talk & Performance, 10 August, 2013, 2pm