Dance Blog

Robot Revolution – Part 2

Phantom Footwork

Though lots of robot dancing is performed on the upper body commonly using the arms as the focal points, the legs are still a vital component in these performances. From skills learned in the popping era, legs can be made to take new shapes and appear to pop in peculiar angles as well, but it is really the use of the feet that make for some of the most impressive new dances. In the same way that Michael Jackson executed the moonwalk, the widely popular backwards walk, experimental robot dancers have been able to move similarly in every direction. By making the feet seamlessly glide over floors, the lack of friction makes for an ethereal feel that adds to the spectacle and can really enhance the notion that the performer has become something other than a regular person.

Liquid Dance

Though this may seem like the opposite to what robot dancers would want to practice, liquid dance is a fantastic addition to any routine. As you may already have guessed this dance style requires you to move in very slick and fluid movements showing few right angles and instead providing the look that you are made from a less solid material. Liquid dance requires great skill and control of the limbs, using a flow of muscle movements to disguise areas where you would normally expect a bend (such as the elbows and knees). The hands also are common areas for liquid dancers to concentrate on as particular movements of the fingers can be hypnotic when arranged and commanded in sequence. Pieces of liquid dance are often placed into contemporary robot dance pieces in order to show the contrast in physicality between the rigid, angular mechanical moves and their counterparts.

Animatronic

This style is a somewhat enhanced version of the animation style. Animatronics are mechanical puppets that were commonly used as special effects in films and now are well known elements in Disney theme parks. The purpose of animatronics is to create a realistic style movement from mechanized models, the result is an imperfect yet charming level of movement. A new style of robotic dance chooses to replicate this type of motion by moving in ways that are somewhere in between animated and slow motion movement, this gives the feel of almost life-like which may seem like a small step but is an incredible triumph for dancers.

Freestyles and Performances

Thanks to a widespread video culture, performers no longer have just the attendees of clubs to show off their skills. Many great dancers have turned to Youtube in one way or another to show billions what they can do. This can also lead to filmed impromptu performances such as the Uniqlo promotion. Featuring the Koutei Sennin and his U-min crew. These excellent performers stood motionless (mannequin style) at the front of a popular clothes store, only to come to life in front of shoppers. Their mix of all the combined styles creates a contemporary robot performance that is truly breathtaking, and even this is now several years old. Today performers use all of these ingredients to create unique and mind-bending moves that look more impressive and less human than ever before.

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