Monday, September 6, 2010

Footloose and Fancy Dancing

Penguins and rap stars, nuns and Greek housewives dance -  in the rain, on the street, on stage, and in fitness classes. Dancing is older than Homer and as current as Dancing with the Stars.

Whether it's ballet or breakdancing, we humans love to soar, jump, tap, and move to the beat. And we dance solo, in pairs and groups, in front of an audience or alone in front of the mirror. Dance, dance, dance.

High art and pop culture reflect our love of dancing. Dozens of movies, even from the days of pre-cinema and silent film, are either about dancing or feature dance routines; Broadway musicals celebrate dance; ballet is dance, visual artists paint and draw dancers. Countless street festivals, clubs, pubs, and bars are dance havens.

Our love of dancing is captured in a great video, put together with clips from nearly 40 movies, all to the song "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. This is one of those videos that I have to admit to playing over and over - it's so upbeat and fun to watch. Also amazing is how well all the dancing fits with the music - very smart editing. Enjoy!


Hels said...

There ARE a lot of dance films or films with important dance scenes, once you think about it! I will recommend one to you that you may not have seen.

Bootmen (2000) was set in Newcastle, an Australian working class seaside city where employment has historically been based on the gritty steel industry. It has elements in common with the fabulous British films Brassed Off (1996), The Full Monty (1997) and Billy Elliot (2000), but the dancing is more central to the men’s lives.

ChrisJ said...


Thanks for the recommendation; I will check it out.

Judie said...

When we were a young married couple in Memphis, Rod and I joined a wonderful supper club just so we could go for a nice dinner and dance.

When we were in grammar school, we took ballroom dance classes every week at the Biltmore Hotel in Atlanta, run by a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Brooks. We were so young and shy, but we all loved it!

Those lessons served us well--they gave us confidence and a smattering of grace on the dance floor.

Shall we dance???

ChrisJ said...


I always wanted to do ballroom dancing, but never got around to it. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Hannah Stoneham said...

have you ever come across the films of Sally Potter? they have a really strong sense of dance I always think...

Great post thanks for sharing


Owen Gray said...

A terrific tour through movie musical history. They make it look so easy. But, as Debbie Reynolds said of going through the numbers in "Singing in the Rain," it's very, very hard work.

ChrisJ said...


I've seen Orlando, but none others; now I'm intrigued.

ChrisJ said...


We would all be in better shape if we danced a lot - not a bad idea, really.

askcherlock said...

oh geez, Chris, you made my day with this one. I still love dancing and don't think there is any better exercise. I loved seeing all these scenes again, especially the ones with Travolta.

ChrisJ said...


I can't pick a favourite, but Travolta is right up there.

Trulyfool said...


Just caught a philosophy lecture, of all things, attributing Greek discourse to its foundations in Greek drama and beyond that to Greek dance, as in Theseus's 'crane dance' explaining how to enter and leave the labyrinth.

As though all wisdom might be relayed in pre-literate societies by re-enactments, physically, into verbal meters, rhetoric.

Baryshnikov and Hines -- Astaire, Kelly. Top names and so many 'lesser'. Love them all.

Pearl said...

wow, what a lot of work to find and fit the images to the music like that. fun.

ChrisJ said...


Strophe, antistrophe, and epode - interesting how they find their way into so many things. Can't remember where I heard a paper connecting Marxist dialectic to Greek dance!

ChrisJ said...


I think this might be a "pro" job.