Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Choreographical Inspiration (Part 2)
This is a followup to Choreographical Inspiration (Part 2)
So welcome to Part 2. There will be (at least) a Part 2 and Part 3 because my original "Part 2" I realized would be rather long so it's split into two articles.
So here goes!
Sheri and I often get asked by non-dancers when they find out we dance:"
Oh..so you must watch "Dancing With The Stars"/"So You Think You Can Dance"
Honestly, we've seen a few episodes, but really who has time to watch tv when there's dancing to be had (and lessons to teach) (and practices to attend).
Out of the two, though, I'd say I do like "So You Think You Can Dance". I really like the feedback. I like the different dance styles. So of the two I'd have to go that way.
My favorite show, though, has got to be "America's Best Dance Crew" (ABDC) ... Besides being fascinated by the team choreography aspect of it, I really like the judging and judges' feedback on the show! They give lots of great comments not only about team choreography but choreography, showmanship, and presentation in general.
And did I mention that the team choreography is just SOOO good and so inspiring?
In particular, I really get inspired watching the Jabbawockeez (season 1 winners) and Quest Crew (season 3 winners). Both crews have amazing talent, choreography, showmanship, and athleticism. But moreso they work so strongly together as a group.
So I wanted to write an article with all the ABDC routines of both crews. But there are a lot (over 15 total!). So I'll be looking at Jabbawockeez for this article and then Quest Crew for the next article.
So, about the Jabbawockeez....
Similar to the last article, I don't want to give too much commentary. I don't want to "spoil" things by pointing out too many of the things I see and like and be all analytical because I'd rather you be able to just watch and enjoy. So my feedback will be (hopefully) brief.
What I really like about the Jabbawockeez is that they really excel in fully using each member in creating shapes and movements. To watch how everything flows, it's not your normal hip hop routine and hip hop crew ..it's truly art.
They really characterize the music superbly. There is no "forced athleticism" as I call it ... If the music does not call for a difficult move, it is not forced .. and their convinction in their movement no matter if it's a simple move or super athletic move is always evident and never sacrificed. Which makes them so good about capturing the feel and flow of music and becoming a part of it.
Right down to the detail with the masks ... it forces you to look at the whole group as a group and not as six individuals which really fits into their choreography .. it's not so much as six individual dancers as it is one amoeba-like shape that utilizes six different parts to create shapes with the music. Even when an individual is highlighted, it is still part of the one amoeba highlighting one of its six parts.
Okay that description is a bit weird, but for the moment that's the most accurate way I can think of to describe it. That the choreography really is about utilizing each person in a total shape. One less dancer or one more dancer would not work with the choreography and would change the art they are creating. I guess another way to think about it is thinking about vocalists singing in four-part harmony. Each vocalist can stand on their own but together it's somethign even more. These guys dance in "six-part" harmony.
Not to mention you can really see the expressions and emotions when they dance ..which is really hard to do when people cannot see your face! So you know the passion is awesome and amazing.
If I could even try to compare something I have done to how I see the Jabbawockeez, it would be our "Love Me Or Leave Me" routine, where we did our best to utilize each member in the choreography to create the shapes to characterize the music, where one fewer or one more couple would not have worked, where we wanted to do our best to make the crowd see us as a whole and not as an individual, not forcing anything difficult if the music's character doesn't call for it, and doing our best to really represent the feel and emotion of the music.
Of all the dance crews I've seen (on youtube, on other shows, etc.) these guys stand out to me more than anyone else as not just a dance crew but as true artists ... like painters utilizing many different colors to create one beautiful canvas, or a composer utilizing many different instruments to create one symphony.
Here are all their routines from America's Best Dance Crew. Even from the beginning with the live audition their choroegraphy was simply gorgeous. They definitely are an inspiration to me.
Week 1: "Apologize" by Timbaland
Week 2: "Ice Box" by Omarian
Week 3: "Lean wit it, Rock wit it" by Dem Franchize Boyz Crew
Week 4: "Ayo Technology" by 50 Cent
Week 5: "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson
Week 6: "All That Jazz" from Chicago
By the way, at the beginning of the routine is one of the best examples I've ever seen of dancing through silence. (You mean when I hit a break in the music I don't have to freeze?) .. it was such an eye opener for me. And became a part of our class this year at Camp Hollywood even!
Week 7: Hip Hop Decathlon Mix
Week 7 Challenge: "The Red Pill"
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