Thursday, September 30, 2004

Today is such a great day! The weather is lovely and sunny, which automatically puts me in a good mood. And I feel good about myself too. It reminds me of Shane's summer crush competition last year. When I was on the tram it was all I could do to lay off sending random text messages along the lines of "Let's go to Jimmy Watson's and drink dry and dry!" and "Let's lie on our backs in a park stroking each other's arms!"

Nice weather brings out my always-terrifying impulse to wear silly clothes and shop. I am wearing my ridiculous reflective 80s sunglasses which I purchased in a $2 shop in Newtown, Sydney, in February. I also wandered into JB Hi-Fi (just to "check out what they have") and $60 later, emerged with Nelly's Sweat and Suit and the Freestylers' Raw as F**k. I also drank two coffees in a row at Bourgie and was *this* close to demanding that Bo put on some dance music at a high volume so I could dance, even though that would scare away the customers. I really like spontaneous public dancing. I want to do some right now. My song of choice would be "Push Up" by Freestylers, or perhaps "Flap Your Wings" by Nelly. Gemma and I have sworn to practice in front of the video til we can successfully get our eagles on.

Also, apparently I am going to teach Penny and Bo how to do the dance routine from "Thriller", even though Bo can already do it better than me. This meme started with the movie Suddenly 30, which I found unexpectedly hilarious. I was sitting right behind Philippa Hawker in the media screening too. I wonder if her poor review was in any way influenced by my raucous laughter. But anyway, then on Friday I went to Kate's birthday party and she and a friend had decided to put on a performance of the routine. I enjoyed this spectacle a lot.

But really, as I was telling Stuart in a caffeine-and-goodwill-fuelled frenzy, the dance will only work if you have many people doing it simultaneously. That's the strength of the best Michael Jackson routines: the moves themselves are quite simple; it's the synchronicity that makes them great. I would really like to do some academic work on the choreography in 'urban' music videos, building on the stuff that's been written on Afro-Futurism. But this would entail getting into 'dance theory', and I don't know if it'd be a good idea to try and break into this idea. This is what irritated me about the panel I was put in at last year's CSAA conference, which was about dance as performance, whereas I was interested in the corporeal experience - the phenomenology - of dance (and I hung my head in shame at a recent throwaway remark by listserv king Danny Butt about phenomenology "in its usual cultural studies guise as 'that which cannot be theorised but I'll give it a go anyway'.").

As I think about this I'm also considering Tommy DeFrantz's idea about the "cool" face and "hot" body of hip-hop dance as opposed to the manic grins of competitive cheerleaders on ESPN. But I find it actually quite embarrassing when dancers have these utterly serious faces. I think you should have a lazy smile on your face when you're enjoying dancing, otherwise you look like a lame poseur. I also think that when you're playing amazing banging beats in your car at high volumes, you should get into it and tap the steering wheel and do the old 'chair dance'. Not sit there as though no music was playing at all.

If you read this before 4:30pm today, call me and we'll go and drink at Jimmy's or lie in a park. If you are a boy, I will touch your hair.

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