We’re all pretty familiar with dance, either as bemused observers or sometimes-drunken participants. There’s public dancing and private dancing, singing-in-the-shower dancing and rocking in the car dancing, cardio hip-hop at LA Fitness and Zumba in the park dancing, dark grinding in the club dancing and sweaty stomping at a rave dancing, awkward middle school slow dancing and unabashed wedding dancing, disciplined pointed-toe ballet dancing and music video backup dancer dancing (just to name a few).
Dance is an incredibly communal, human experience. It’s impossible to go through life without experiencing it in one form or another, yet it would be a mistake to say that we’ve seen it all. There’s no shortage of dancing in music videos to pop songs, hip-hop and R&B. But with the rise of electronic music and too many cross-electronic genres to keep track of, I’ve often wondered if people actually dance to the music I listen to at home. Do people dance to the musical stylings of DJs like Alt-J or Thomas Jack or Snakehips?
I answered that question the only way I knew how: Google. And after a few (several) hours down the YouTube rabbit-hole I have emerged with some pretty awesome discoveries. Dance is as fluid and diverse as music. For every chillstep, funk, trap, garage, or other hybrid-genre track on Soundcloud there’s probably some dancer in his/her garage moving to it. It’s fascinating to see what these people can come up with. In contrast to the high-energy or overtly sexual displays typically seen paired with hip-hop and R&B these pieces stand out by how subdued they are. Soft-treading electronic music has met its visual representation in the highly controlled movement of Genki Sudo and Anthony Lee. These dance videos aren’t in-your-face aggressive or cloyingly catchy. They’re meant to be enjoyed like their soundtracks — with a sense of casual reverence and appreciation for small details.