Filed under dance

La La Land? So-so

La La Land? So-so

The opening scene is huge set piece, an explosion of song and dance by a load of young people stuck in a traffic jam on an elevated road in LA. It’s bold, sassy and brilliantly done. Emma Stone is reading her lines and Ryan Gosling is being ridiculously cool listening to jazz. The traffic clears … Continue reading


Frances Ha

Frances Ha

Despite great reviews, I put off watching this film as I couldn’t figure out what it was. Filmed in New York in black and white, it seemed a quirky tale of trendy young things. So a bit ho-hum, and yet… I think it’s the first film I’ve ever watched that I immediately wanted to see … Continue reading

The Origin of Rock and Roll

The Origin of Rock and Roll

Recent research suggests that a lot of the early popular songs originated in Scotland. They were the result of poor Scots being thrown off their land by the Highland and Island clearances, so were about longing for home and of going to a promised land, common themes in gospel and early American folk music. But … Continue reading

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

This is another strange dance that survives but is far from clear what it was meant to be. This was featured in The Unthanks special on English dancing. This is from Curious Country Customs by Jeremy Hobson: One of the best known and almost certainly one of the oldest …is thought to date back as … Continue reading

Finding Their Inner Cathy, or Kate

This is absolutely gloriously mad. 300 Kate Bush impersonators from toddlers upwards, of varying genders, all dancing to the bonkers song ‘Wuthering Heights’ that launched Bush’s dazzling career. Try to sit still while watching this. I love it. The power of music! Can I hear the sound of Bronte spinning in her grave in the … Continue reading

Word of the Day: Goliard

I stumbled upon this word, and the more I discover about it the more I like it. The OED describes a goliard as a disreputable vagrant medieval cleric given to revelry, buffoonery and satirical Latin versifying, a follower of an imaginary Bishop Golias. Another source describes them as renegade clerics of no fixed abode more … Continue reading

The Little Fugitive

This film from 1953 has fallen through the cracks of most film histories, but is surfacing after the film on children in film. It is a real gem, beautifully acted by its young star, Richie Andrusco. When their mother goes away, Joey is left in the charge of his older brother whose friends play a … Continue reading

Byrne on Performance

I am fascinated by what happens to people at public gatherings, such as concerts, in churches, political rallies, by the energy, the sense of community, and why this seems to be such an integral part of most civilisations. David Byrne is also fascinated by the process of performance; in his book How Music Works he … Continue reading

Time to Fly

I have just seen a Culture Show special on the dancer Sylvie Guillem. I have long been aware of her fame as a dancer but I didn’t quite get how good she is. She began training to be a gymnast and had no interest in dance, but there was an exchange with a ballet school … Continue reading