Sunday, January 11, 2009

blast from the past/what's the word birds?

We now interrupt to announce that I'm bizz-ack! (i.e. back)

Hopefully I'm not interrupting the flow of things too much.

I've got a great excuse though for being away, though - GRAD SCHOOL. Yep, I've been slaving away in the delta (well, more like Northern Mississippi) at Ole Miss/the University of Mississippi (*whispers* go Rebs Cotton Bowl champs yeeeaaaaahhhh!). I'm working on my M.A. in Southern Studies. And what is that, you ask? Basically any and everything that has to so with the American South, falls under the umbrella of Southern Studies. If you need more clarification/want to know more, check these out, especially that last link. I think it gives one a pretty good ideas of the wide possibilites available in this field.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing my thesis on, but more and more I have a feeling it's going to incorporate dance. Especially as I am finishing up a paper now that talks about Soulja Boy and the "crank that" dance phenomenon and how it can be viewed as an articulation of Southern identity, while also making the argument that the Black dancing body has been and continues to be a key marker of aforementioned Southern identity.

Hm, heavy right? Maybe. Maybe I'm just flattering myself. In any case, I want to return to this space - this space being this blog - because one, I miss it, and two I need a space to air out my ideas and to simply talk about dance. So in the future, I see myself maybe posting parts of my paper/refining my thesis, but for now (and in the future), I just wanna share and deconstruct some shiz, if only so I can get back in to the practice of writinf about physical movement.

Starting with:

The lovely Amel Larrieux (whose mother is the equally lovely dance critic/academic Brenda Dixon Gottschild, to whom I owe much in the way of my research over the past few years).

Now, what strikes me and what I adore about her movement is the gentle, almost vague quality of it (and I am looking primarily at her and not so much the other bodies, although they are moving just as much, if not more so in certain moments). I think part of it has to do with her focus - her eyes are often closed as her head moves from side to side, or when they are open, the look into the distance or up, down, and around . . . there is no particular point of focus.

(Do people talk about that enough? I mean, just how much what a dancer does with her eyes determines the overall quality of her dancing? And how that separates the okays from the greats/the boring from the interesting?)

Returning to the video, I also think the use of spilt screen and the subtle special effects adds, rather that detracts or distracts from, the movement. It somehow works together. I think the cinematography also has something to do with that.

I could go into this a little more but, I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts.......and I'm sleepy. lol. And I've got a road trip in the morning, so I need to go to bed. So, thoughts?

..............p.s. i like being back :)...........................

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