Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Street Dance - a fragmented art form?

There were two street dance acts in the semifinals of Britain's Got Talent, and their performances can be seen here and here, courtesy of Youtube.

My first reaction to watching them was to think that, from a musical point of view, the performances are incoherent. They cut and paste together different music in such a way that no unity results. I did not initially react to the disjointed movements of the performances - though the smoother movements of Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice did go through my mind. The idea that dance movements change over time, though, is only to be expected.

But, as an afterthought, I wondered whether street dance is an art form that can be described by the word "fragmented"? And does this reflect a fragmented society?

1 comment:

bernadette said...

Street dance groups like these two (which are of a very high standard) are what you might call Counter-Cultural. I would find it hard to sit through more than four minutes of either Strictly or Dancing on Ice, purely because they are so utterly dull and safe and predictable.

The whole point about these street dance groups (my 12 yr old son belongs to one) is that they are unpredictable and slightly edgy. You just never know whether you're going to be clapping or crying in the next few minutes.

"Fragmented" is a slightly negative way of seeing them. They are, in many ways, prophetic. They speak about the world as they see it and are not afraid to do so.
They contain occasional nuggets of truth. I don't particularly warm to the genre myself, having sat through quite a few performances now, but I do see value and meaning and purpose in it.You should see the team spirit, the friendships and the self-esteem that these dance groups promote.

And I consider myself to be a conservative. I shoudl also observe that these s0-caled street groups are often compriosed of mainly middle-class, well-educated dudes who want to think they are involved in something slightly risque.

Suits me. The last thing I want is my 13yr old son taking drugs and having sex. If I can let him believe he's sailing close to the wind by donning a beannie and spinning on his arse to some crap music, then everyone's happy.