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Hip Hop Dancers as performing objects and maybe robots?

by on October 23, 2012

The Discussion we had in the lecture after Alex’s I/II/III/IIII video about how ballet is very robotic in its movements got me thinking that its not actually specific to ballet but to all dance. Dance choreography is a very robotic process of programming a series of set movement into the brain in the same way you would program a machine or robot. Through thinking about this I began to realise that dance is actually becoming more robotic as times are moving in particular in Hip Hop dance.

A Hip Hop dance crew which I am particularly interested in encapsulates this notion perfectly this crew are called the Jabbawockeez.

As you can see from this video the Jabbawockeez wear white expressionless masks and gloves to remove their humanity and use a blend of classic hip hop moves with very static mechanised movements to make them appear as one large machine. They move fully synchronised and sometimes even stutter and glitch like a computer video might suggesting that they are not human but machine, there is even a stage at 2:30 where they seem to imitate puppetry. it reached a point in the video where I forgot altogether that they were humans and just believed I was watching a Robot dance show.  It is interesting to watch a group of humans imitating robots and puppets as it is the complete reverse of what inventors have been trying to do with machines and puppets throughout history by making them more human.

It is strange to think of human bodies as performing objects in genre’s such as dance but in essence that is what they are, and I don’t think anyone encapsulates that as well as the Jabbawockeez.


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