I know what you're thinking, when did I get so cultured. But hang tight. This post will again confirm that I'm horribly mainstream.
You see, I've learnt last summer that contemporary dance doesn't have be 'dancing' in a morphsuit/floaty pastel dress to clanging atonal music. Oh no. There's a subdivision I have named Mainstream Contemporary Dance. It's for dancing numpties like me.
I was watching Dancing With the Stars on Saturday morning. See, right there, mainstream. Anyway Christina Perri was on it (again with the mainstream, although I'll come back to this later). Anyway the American version of Strictly seems to have some sort of 'Sob Story Slot' (this might not be the actual name of it) and so there was a girl who'd had a brain tumour on dancing to Christina Perri's song 'Arms'. Now with all the airplay (remember, mainstream) of Jar of Hearts I hadn't heard this. It's lovely and the dance was beautiful. More ballet perhaps than contemporary dance (although in my limited understanding of contemporary dance that seems to be ok), but beautiful all the same.
Skip to 3.00 for the dance, although her story with the brain tumour is worth it for context.
Anyway that reminded me of reading Christina Perri's story and how her Jar of Hearts song was featured on the American So You Think You Can Dance last summer when she was trying to make it. She was working as a waitress, the song was used and bam, two weeks later she had a recording deal. I came across this reading another blog I dip in and out of and it had me in a loop of watching dances from the American SYTYCD (which is infinitely better than ours by the way). So in this small way, I was ahead of the curve on Christina Perri. Not mainstream. Ha!
Then on Sunday night's Strictly, who was appearing? Only Christina Perri. She sang Jar of Hearts (see aforementioned airplay) and they had Kristina and Robin dance to it in that Stricly come-on-half-way-through-the-song way. I don't really know what 'style' of dance they did, essentially they just did a lot of tricks and what not. It reminded me of the free dance the finalists do, although Christina's dress is Rumba-y. But then she's in bare feet which is the contemporary signal to me, so it's confusing to a dance novice like myself. I will say this though, those candles must have been a bally nightmare to light and keep lit. And it now seems to be important for men to dance to Christina Perri songs with their shirts unbuttoned.
You don't have to watch it, it wasn't my favourite and it's not that important to the post, but seeing as I mentioned it I thought I might as well make it easy for you.
Anyway, this is all pointing to my two favourite contemporary dances from my tour through them last summer which I thought I'd share (annoyingly, I can't embed them here, but you've stuck with this post this long, you may as well click on through).
First off, the Jar of Hearts one that discovered Christina Perri. I'm going to sound like a real contemporary dance numptyhead here, but I thought the interpretation of the lyrics was so much better than the Strictly one. You can watch it here.
This is my favourite one though. Just beautiful. And then Cat Deeley starts to speak. It's to Collide, which interestingly is song that featured on my August 2006 playlist...the same time as I was watching Travis Wall (who choreographed this routine - he's standing at the end) competing in SYTYCD. Yeah, fair enough, only interesting to me.
Much like this post. Unless you too are a fan of mainstream contemporary dance.