Monday, September 7, 2009

Michael Jackson 'Dangerous' Tour

I just got the DVD of Michael Jackson's 1992 'Dangerous' tour live in Bucharest.
I've been trying to track down a recording of an NBC TV special that he did sometime in the late 1980's early 1990's but have not been able to find one yet so this 'Dangerous' DVD will do for now.

It's pretty phenomenal. All aspects of his personal life aside, and though he did not invent a lot of the pop-lock influence dance moves that he does, he is an electrifying performer and this recording captures that. The atmosphere in Bucharest for the show may have been heightened even more as this show took place less than 3 years after the fall of the Ceausescu. There were probably a lot of pent up feelings to let loose in the audience that night and some of them were indeed going nuts out there.

One aspect of his show that I appreciate a lot is the judicious use of stillness and long pauses at appropriate moments. In my few years of looking at and considering dance choreography so far, I've come to notice 2 major "don't"s:

1. Don't do the same basic types of movement through an entire piece. Changes in theme
or pace are needed to complement each other.
I especially see this "don't" in some HipHop pieces that come off as one long unending
series of 'the same' gesticulations and my mind begins to wander off mid-piece.

2. Don't repeat the same movement more than 2 times in a row. Though sometimes you
can get away with 3 times in a row, usually by the 3rd time of repeating it, the mind starts
saying 'yeah, been there already !'.

It was noticeable in this DVD that Michael had a only a handful of basic 'bread and butter'
moves but he uses them effectively to convey the feeling of rhythm or flowing. He makes judicious use of short and long still pauses and never makes the 'too many repetitions in a row' mistake so his dancing never gets tiring to look at.

I was also happy to see that killer guitarist Jennifer Batten got a few spotlights on stage. She's a great guitarist. There's a clip of her playing 'Flight of the BumbleBee' out there somewhere that shows great virtuosity on her instrument.. Getting to see her playing on stage is an extra plus.

A highly recommended DVD for Jackson and/or Dance fans !

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