But Prince, precious, elusive Prince, well, there lays one whose name was writ in water. And from Prince a writer might take the lesson that elusiveness can possess a deeper beauty than the legible.
In the world of words, we have Keats to remind us of this, and to demonstrate what a long afterlife an elusive artist can have, even when placed beside as clearly drawn a figure as Lord Byron. Prince represents the inspiration of the moment, like an ode composed to capture a passing sensation. And when the mood changes, he changes with it: another good lesson.
Better to be the guy still jamming in the wee hours of the house party, and though everybody films it on their phones no one proves quite able to capture the essence of it. I only say that in our minds it will never be as distinct. They go further than legibility into proscription.
They lead armies, and we join them. We are like those uniformed dancers moving in military formation behind them, an anonymous corps whose job it is to copy precisely the gestures of their general. Maybe it is for this reason that much of the crowd I saw at Wembley could be found, for long periods, not facing in the direction of the stage at all, instead turning to their friends and partners. Our queen was up there somewhere dancing — but the idea of her had already been internalised.
They could have done the same at home, but this was a public display of allegiance. Here dancing is intended as a demonstration of the female will, a concrete articulation of its reach and possibilities. The lesson is quite clear. My body obeys me.
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My dancers obey me. Now you will obey me. And then everybody in the crowd imagines being obeyed like Bey — a delightful imagining. Such writers offer the same essential qualities or illusions : total control over their form and no freedom for the reader. Compare and contrast, say, Jean Rhys or Octavia Butler , lady writers much loved but rarely copied. Who runs the world? The art of not dancing — a vital lesson. Sometimes it is very important to be awkward, inelegant, jerking, to be neither poetic nor prosaic, to be positively bad.
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To express other possibilities for bodies, alternative values, to stop making sense. At the end of this seam of logic lies a liberating thought: maybe nobody truly owns anything. All possible aesthetic expressions are available to all peoples — under the sign of love. I think of young Luther Vandross , singing backup a few feet behind Bowie, during Young Americans, watching Bowie flail and thrash.
CopperKnob - Last Dance For Me - Séverine Fillion & Céline Paschetta (January )
I wonder what his take on all that was. Here was something different. Something old, and yet new. When you face an audience, which way will you turn? Inwards or outwards?
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Or some combination of the two? Nureyev , so fierce and neurotic, so vulnerable, so beautiful — like a deer suddenly caught in our headlamps — is faced resolutely inwards.
We feel we might break him, that he might crumble — or explode. He never does, but still, whenever he leaps you sense the possibility of total disaster, as you do with certain high-strung athletes no matter how many times they run or jump or dive. With Nureyev you are an onlooker, you are a person who has been granted the great honour of being present while Nureyev dances. See also: Dostoevsky. With Baryshnikov , I have no fears of disaster. He is an outward-facing artist, he is trying to please me and he succeeds completely. His face dances as much as his arms and legs.
I am not a purist. I am delighted! He is a charmer, an entertainer, he is comic, dramatic, cerebral, a clown — whatever you need him to be. Baryshnikov is both loving and loved. See also: Tolstoy. I was very star-struck, I hardly spoke. Ma vie - Dadju. Highest in the Room - Travis Scott. Birds - Imagine Dragons.
Loco Contigo - DJ Snake. Ride It - Regard. Ibiza - Jul. Only Human - Jonas Brothers. Paroles de la chanson Dance for Me par Queen Latifah. Chanson manquante pour "Queen Latifah"? Proposer les paroles Proposer une correction des paroles de "Dance for Me". This ain't the best you've ever hear coming from a female MC But you know what I mean?
Hail to the Queen! But Harold gives himself over to joy. Between propriety and joy, choose joy.
On YouTube you will find them, locked in many dance-offs, and so you are presented with a stark choice. The choice is between two completely opposite values: legibility on the one hand, temporality on the other. Between a monument Jackson and a kind of mirage Prince. But both men were excellent dancers.
Putting aside the difference in height, physically they had many similarities. Terribly slight, long necked, thin-legged, powered from the torso rather than the backside, which in both cases was improbably small. And in terms of influence they were of course equally indebted to James Brown.
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The splits, the rise from the splits, the spin, the glide, the knee bend, the jerk of the head — all stolen from the same source.