Friday, March 20, 2009


Geez, the posts here at Born Dancin’ are coming thick and fast, or thin and slow depending on your internet speed and/or perceptual capabilities. Before proceeding, however, I will remind you to go along to Hoipolloi’s Floating if you’re in Melbourne. On till Sunday. It will make your hair shinier and teeth whiter.

Anyway, while engaging in one of my regular investigations into irregular dance styles in Europe, I came across DISCOFOX. Discofox was big in the 70s, especially in more Northern European countries. It came about at roughly the same time disco hit it big in the West, but deserved its own name because it was subtly different. Discofox is obviously an awesome name for anything, but the actual dancing doesn’t live up to the hype. In short, it’s disco toned down so it can be done as a more structured partnered dance, kind of like the simplest forms of ballroom, salsa, slow dancing and swing. As you can see, the result is pretty much the kind of dancing your grandparents do at weddings.

What really interested me, though, is that DISCOFOX NEVER DIED. When disco took a nosedive in the US, discofox kept getting stronger, and has evolved to the point where competitive discofox championships still take place in Germany and Switzerland.

And THESE led me to the most disturbing discovery of all – that competitive disco dancing can be as strange as jumpstyle or tecktonik any of the other Eurodances that the kids are doing.

Here’s a clip from a Swedish competition that terrifies me. It’s like a dozen blonde women were fed handfuls of cocaine, let loose on a highschool gymnasium and told that only their dancing could save the lives of their families. The horrific level of energy on offer here is only matched by the fact that none of the dancers seem at all aware of each other, despite the distinct possibility that one of those high kicks could easily take a person’s head off.

Speaking of high kicks, here’s the greatest action scene I’ve ever witnessed, at least in the genre of “fights in which the hero makes no sense whatsoever”. I do laud a culture which allows used car salesmen to live out their dreams of being in the Matrix, and the first appearance of our protagonist (I use the term loosely) honestly sends shivers down my spine.


This is only the second of two action films in which the eating of confectionary takes a prominent position in a fight set-up (the first is Jackie Chan’s super-cool Indiana Jones rip-off Armour of God).

And the pretty average special effects are compensated for by adding a whoosh effect to every single movement our hero does, including waggling his finger.

And to conclude and draw together this sorry and sundry assortment of oddments, I will point out that if I ever saw a dancer pull off the final move this Tamil superman hits us with, I would declare said dancer the winner of life and we can all go home now, goodnight folks.

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