Monday, October 1, 2012

ULHS 2012 - Jack and Jill Finals - Chaos!

It's Chaos I tell you, Chaos!!!!

...and I love it.

This Jack & Jill features some of the usual suspects and a mix of newer faces, or at least newer to me; but the real thing that stands out is the rough quality of the dancing in general. There are follows misreading lead movements and leads improvising and leaving their follows confused. There's a lot of slop in this dance, but the beautiful thing is that it's not for a lack of TRYING.

As I dissect this video a few things come to mind.  Why so sloppy and rough?  Well, for starters, it IS a Jack and Jill.  If the mix of dancers here are really that new to each other then it is going to match a social dance more than a polished competition between A list dancers who have been dancing and mixing at events for a decade or more.

Two, I get the sense that everyone is really trying hard.  They're pushing themselves to be creative, to stand out, to hit musical movements and break down tired patterns - and this really puts a strain on connection and the ability to read what is coming next.  I get the feeling that some of these leads AND follows are treading new ground, and with the energy of ULHS at their backs I can see how things might get a little sloppy.

Third, maybe we're a scene in flux.  Having watched a lot of videos from major events, I feel like we as a scene have hit a point of maturity over the last few years.  The pros are more polished than ever, we've moved beyond the wow of air steps to a real emphasis on jazz and musical movement, and many of the smaller events (heck, even the ILHC Pro-Am!) are showcasing an increasing level of lesser known competitors who are really starting to shine.  Maybe we're due to experience a growth spurt, a generational shift, and maybe that means that things will just have to be a little sloppy again until we gleam onto the new trends, the new language. I think we might just be experiencing the birthing pains of the next phase of our dance.  Or maybe I'm misreading the signs...

So yeah, this is Chaos, but it sure is exciting.

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