Tag Archives: dancing

One to watch: Francis Lung

Francis Lung’s (aka Tom McClung, ex member of WU LYF) debut single, “A Selfish Man” is one of my favourite tracks right now. Partly because it’s kicks off with what sounds like some good old fashioned finger clicking, partly because it makes me think of summer strolling, but mainly because it’s just so jazzy and so laid back at the same time. It’s the sort of song you just close your eyes and sway to. I’m doing it right now as I write this post…

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Francis’s tumblr tells us “the album is currently being recorded. it’s currently doing ma head in. it should be done in about 3 days, it probably won’t be. STAY TUNED! DON’T TELL YOUR PARENTS!”

I’m excited.

Give it a listen and see what you think:

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London Art Fair Discovery 1: Karine Laval

I’ve only just returned to the list of names I jotted down at London Art Fair back in January (rediscovery is so exciting) and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing the best of the bunch on here. First up is New York based photographer, Karine Laval. I’ve always been fascinated by images of the human body and water so it’s no surprise that Laval’s series of poolside photographs grabbed my attention. Her images of bodies submerged under water are utterly compelling in their focus on the natural process of distortion and intense colour.

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They make a vibrant contrast to much of Laval’s other work which heavily utilises light to create sunlight saturated images that are bare by comparison. This, however, is no criticism. There’s something very intriguing about the whiteness of her island images, for example, where the sand and sky are barely separated by a thin strip of blue sea and seem to go on forever… A landscape of dreams. At least that’s what it looks like to me – it’s hard to imagine such brightness with wind and rain slapping against your window.

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View Laval’s full portfolio here: http://www.karinelaval.com/. It’s also well worth checking out her videos via  vimeo. There’s a few very hypnotic and brilliant shorts including this one of a professional dancer performing underwater:

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Solange reveals video for ‘Lovers in a Parking Lot’

You can always count on Solange to wear some crazy outfit whilst dubiously dancing in equally dubious places. Last time it was in a suit outside a caravan, this time it’s in a silver metallic shirt (possibly made from tin foil) inside what looks like an old school video arcade. Unlike the last vid though, this one’s dark. I mean that literally, not so much in a sinister way. We’re talking a pitch-black screen for the first six or seven seconds. And it’s exciting. You find yourself wondering if this is actually Solange’s new video or some massive hoax. Perhaps the video has been removed from youtube due to explicit content? Sadly it hasn’t. The raunchiest it gets is a pair of lycra pink hot pants which, let’s be honest, these days is almost prudish. What really happens is….

On second thoughts I’m not going to tell you what appears when darkness gives way to light, I had to sit through a tense seven seconds and you’ll have to do the same. So there.

And here’s a question for you: Solange’s dancing – malcoordinated or pretty nifty?

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My phone call with a burlesque dancer

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A couple of week’s ago I interviewed Burlesque dancer, Constance Peach for my student newspaper, here’s what happened: 

Burlesque. Even the word sounds exotic, conjuring up images of Dita von Teese, feathers, glitter and giant cocktail glasses. This is a world so removed from the mundane that its hard to believe that the performers are actually real people. Especially when they have names like Constance Peach. How would I know who I was talking to? Who really was ‘Constance Peach’? I quickly typed the name into google before it was time to call: images of a beautiful blonde woman decorated with pink feathers filled my screen. A flamingo?

“My real name is Alice Foster. Having two names just makes it easier, keeps it separate.”

Miss Peach aka Alice Foster, as it turns out, is a retired lecturer in animal science, who now lives with her two children in Gosforth, but what made her decide to swap her barbour for a corset?

“Well, I took a break from lecturing and had the children, and then I just felt like something was missing. I wanted a creative outlet and though I hadn’t done much dancing, I had always loved performance art and vintage fashion.”

Alice’s lack of dancing experience clearly hasn’t hindered her career though, after entering the North East burlesque scene in 2010 she was met with rave reviews, earning reputation as ‘the peaches and cream of burlesque’, and now she runs her own burlesque extravaganza, ‘Casa Bellini’, at The People’s Theatre in Heaton. But what makes a good burlesque performer?

“For me, burlesque is an art form so it’s not enough to just look pretty. Admittedly, you do have to look great on stage, but it’s also about your whole demeanour and committing to the role. I am Constance Peach from the moment I enter the theatre right until I get in my car at the end of the night.”

Constance Peach must have a pretty elaborate wardrobe, where do you buy all your outfits?

“I actually make a lot of my costumes. I like them to be as original as possible. I’m working on a 1920s inspired piece at the moment, which is lime green and peach, but sometimes we need the help of a specialist. As you can imagine, when your job is undressing you need clothes which are easy to take off!”

Ah, the old age issue of trying to undress sexily. I wonder if the mistress of seduction can give me any tips to avoid spoiling the mood with a stuck trouser leg? Ladies, listen in.

“Take short cuts! If you’re wearing suspenders don’t do all the clips up and don’t be afraid to practice beforehand in your bedroom. Also remember that sexy doesn’t just mean erotic underwear. It can just be wearing a man’s t-shirt with nothing on underneath, try to go for something that’s a bit more sensual.

Confidence is always attractive so take your time and don’t be afraid if you make mistakes. It’s all about the tease!”

Burlesque has the reputation of being a bit sleazy. I wonder if Miss. Peach ever attracts the wrong type of attention?

“There have been a few shows where the gentlemen have been, well, not very gentlemanly, but its about showing them who’s boss. It’s not a sleazy thing in reality. Mainly girls come to watch the shows. Women like being entertained by real people who don’t necessarily look like they’ve walked straight out of a magazine and with whom they can relate.”

I thank Alice and tell her that my boyfriend and I will be in the audience for her next show. Even over the phone, my apprehension is clearly obvious.

“Just dress up and enjoy yourself. People think they will be put on the spot and made to feel uncomfortable, but we embrace our audience. It’s like an adult pantomime with comedy acts, dancers, international performers and a vintage market before the performance begins. I mean you will see boobies, but it’s all great fun. We encourage wolf whistling, feet stamping – the works! Your boyfriend will probably want to buy you nipple tassels by the end of the night!”

Yikes, sounds like I’m in for a pretty exciting evening.

[interview originally published in The Courier]

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Soulful Sunday

Sundays are all about eating and chilling in you PJs and you don’t get more chilled than Anthony Hamilton. So light a few candles, throw on your slippers and hit play. Go on you deserve it:

 

If you’re feeling hardcore check out Ben Pearce’s house version of ‘Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens’ renamed ‘What I might do’. It’s insanely good, though I warn you it’s probably best saved for Friday night.

Man this song is diverse:

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New ad for 3: That pony’s got moves

Maybe it’s just because it combines two of my favourite things: dancing and shetland ponies, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about an advert! Written by Freddie Powell, the creator of  the Cravendale ad ‘Cats with Thumbs’ (remember that stroke of comedy genius?) and filmed on the Shetland Islands, the new 3 ad is hilariously silly whilst maintaining an air of authenticity which makes a little part of me think maybe ponies really do dance when our backs are turned. It would explain a lot.

Hit the link to beat the craze before the pony makes it’s debut on ITV this evening:

As an added bonus you can even make your own pony mashup via ‘the pony mixer’.  That’s my plans to work this weekend out the window, thanks a lot 3….

Hit the link to see my pony strutting it’s stuff, I like to think he takes after Disco Stew from ‘The Simpsons’:

http://bit.ly/VT5Zpb

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