Magazine article Dance Spirit

Revolutionaries

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Revolutionaries

Article excerpt

URBAN

In the late 1990s a new music-- rhythm and beats, or rnb began to introduce a little heart and soul to the usual breakbeat sound of Parisian nightclubs. Traditional hip hop dancers, lovers of the beat, would fade off the floor when the emotionally expressive, melodious rub sang out, leaving club dancers Remy Pautrat and Franck Moreau with more room to physically translate the new sound. Speaking for both of them, Pautrat says, one night "a young American told [us], `your dance, it's like a wave!' The name was found: Wavedance."

Technically, articulation of the hips creates Wavedance's upright, ever-- revolving style. Precise control of the core of the body (pelvis, abdominals, lower back) enables a Wavedancer to play with gravity, always on his feet, but seeming to "continually fall."

Wavedance is to melody as hip hop is to beat. While the technique owes something to hip hop's mechanical virtuosity, it first developed from a strong response to rnb vocals. Pautrat and Moreau say theirs is a dance of the heart and they encourage us to support the weak and respect all differences.

This ideology is put into practice in Paris' culturally rich club scene, where they feel that their white skin and what could be seen as feminine movement style belie the image of today's popular dances.

At its core, Wavedance promotes togetherness. Unlike the isolations of hip hop, it coordinates the entire body in motion. While turning, a dancer pours weight from one body part through center into another, widening or narrowing channels to vary cadence. This swishing of the hips creates a liquid, elastic or chewing gum-like quality.

Pautrat felt the development of his personal technique rise up through the body-first the feet, legs and hips, then the spine. Later, he felt the arms connect deeply in the torso. Now, he moves as a whole. "I try to empty my body and then observe it, to sense the blood circulating-it is a form of meditation," he says. …

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