Feast of The Broken Heart

My black heart has been feasting on this magnificent offering from Hercules and Love Affair since the first track was released in the spring. All the beats and bells and singers that we have come to expect from  Andy Butler’s extravaganza of dance and more.

album Andy Butler

The Feast of The Broken Heart

The whole album is wonderful from start to finish but one of stand outs is “I Try to Talk to You” featuring John Grant. Such a beautiful song and when I saw the video with the modern duet choreography I wept. Truly one of the best songs of the summer:

Here is the official playlist of the album on Youtube, although you will want to buy it so you can listen to it on every device in every room:

Feast of The Broken Heart playlist

There are so many good tracks but I would like to point a couple of more notables. The “Hercules Theme 2014”?!! Everyone should have a theme song. Such a good idea! The song “Liberty” is outstanding as well, another track featuring John Grant. Do not let him overshadow your enjoyment of Gustaph and Rouge Mary, though. They are totally fierce!

Thanks again, Andy Butler. You have made my summer better.

90 Days of Vogue

The Legendary Lady Sasa has committed to share her 90 days of voguing on Youtube! I will be going back to the beginning and watching them all, but I suggest you start with yesterday’s video:

What a beautiful dancer! Lady Sasa says that when she gets on the floor she starts out soft and cunt and then gets all dramatic. Ever since I first wrote about voguing, I’ve been wanting a better understanding of the different categories and vogue-cabulary. Thanks Lady Sasa for showing us these styles with your own particular interpretation!

I love when Lady Sasa is doing floor work and you hear “back in the day when we had a beef we took it out on the dance floor.” Can all battles take place on the dance floor, please? Spectre and I went to the two person elimination dance battle, Deep, at ADX a couple of weeks ago and we were too absolutely gobsmacked by the dancers to even write about it. If all kids were taught to dance it out from a young age we earthlings would be on our way to a peaceful future.

My favorite battlers were the dancers who had very unique styles. You could tell they knew how to pop and break dance etc., but that was layered with their own individual moves and it was captivating. We also saw some some young gals confront each other on the dance floor, not so much with technique but with their strong gestures and the power of their movements. This is where dance innovation comes from. When you see someone like Chocolate Milk dance, a local Portland street dancer who is also classically trained and just back from NYC, you will just about weep! Chocolate Milk was stunning and the only competitor at Deep who added vogue elements.

Back to Lady Sasa. Bring it, sister! I can’t wait for her offerings of fierceness to bring light into my life for 78 more days!

House Dancer

Underground culture is often times hard to document. Toes are stepped on, memories differ, and people are offended or forgotten. There is also the problem that dances, even the established and recognized forms like ballet, are notoriously hard to accurately archive.  The sooner people start writing, filming, and talking about their experiences and spreading the knowledge, the more likely we will be able safeguard our dance heritage for the generations to come.  This is especially true of a relatively new dance form like house dancing.

Byron Cox dancer

Byron Cox of housedancer.com

I was recently delighted to find a fantastic source for house dancing called housedancer.com. It seems like they are located in New York, but they have videos from dance workshops and festivals all over the world.  Fortunately for us, they are chipping away at providing information about the history of house dance, sub-categories of the genre, and prominent innovators of the dance form.  I’m still confused about exactly what lofting, jacking, and stomping are but at least people are starting the process of defining these styles.  This post lists significant contributors to house dance, and an interesting comment by someone who as an originator of lofting, is offended that he is left out! I hope this type of dialogue doesn’t deter the writers because now I want to find out more about the offendee and his history!

Chicago The Warehouse

The Warehouse in Chicago – the birth place of house music

I don’t think there will ever be definitive answers regarding the history of house dancing, after all there are differing opinions on where the term house music comes from in the first place.  The Warehouse night club in Chicago?  Music that you would play at your house?  I kind of think it’s more likely the first one, but it just goes to show that sometimes there is more than one meaning and maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Another thing about club and street styles of dancing that makes them hard to codify is that by nature they are free style and have to do with personal spontaneous expression. I’ve never seen two waackers waack the same way, that’s for sure!

To find out more about the dancers and choreographers contributing to housedancer.com, check out their House Dance Project page. You can also see videos of dancing and interviews and find out more about their mission as ambassadors of house dance. I truly believe that much of the innovation and breakthroughs in dance come from the streets and the discotheques. Thanks guys for all your hard work and gorgeous dancing and sharing it all with the world!