Monthly Archives: February 2010

Musicality Is Not Monotony; Further Discussions On Call and Response.

A while back I wrote about how I view musicality. While watching the following video from Lone Star Championships it reminded me of that post, so I’m expanding on an idea briefly discussed in that post.

I have, for a little bit now, admired Nathan Bugh. But only from a very far distance. When I was at Lindy Focus I had a glorious opportunity to take classes from him (and Evita Arce, of course) and, even more gloriously, watch him furiously at work on the dance floor. That is when I fully apprehended how wonderful he is.

He is one of the very few leads that creates something with his partner instead of just using her to do cool moves or tricks. When he dances he constantly gives the follow an opportunity to shine completely on her own. Then he augments her spotlight by elaborating on whatever she just did. He is constantly paying attention to her.

Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

Watch at 1:27 how he clearly gives Sharon Davis her own time to play with the music, then takes whatever she did and elaborates on it or changes it to fit the riff he is dancing to.

Another thing which blew me away, is how musical all this is. The call an response session fits so naturally within that phrase of the song, and ends naturally just as the phrase changes and the horn starts. Also if you closely watch Nathan’s movement it also changes as the feel of the melody changes throughout the song. He starts out with very smooth moves with almost no pulse and hanging back on the beat then, when the music changes at 0:48, he dives in to a swing out and makes his pulse more visible, his movements more energetic, and more on top of the beat. When the music changes back to those long, dragging horns at 0:58, he changes his movements yet again to match.

Check out both Nathan and Sharon (and Evita! and Jo Hoffberg, Kevin St. Laurent, and Juan Villafane) on their web site The Killer Dillers.

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