Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stepping Gains Popularity From Hollywood

You can always tell that a dance form is gaining popularity when you see it on the silver screen. When the Brazilian dance Lambada was the craze, there was actually a movie titled "Lambada" in1989. Patrick Swayze's "Dirty Dancing" popularized a forbidden dance of the same name.

Some other dance movies are:

"Flashdance" (1983) Breakdancing movie

"Saturday Night Fever" (1977) Disco movie

"Fame" (1980) Jazz movie

"The Turning Point" (1977) Ballet movie

"Staying Alive" (1983) Jazz movie

"Footloose" (1984) New Wave movie

Though there are a lot more that could be mentioned, it cannot be denied that most of these movies help disseminate information on the chosen dance topic. For a dance to be featured on film is a good thing no matter what critics say.

It appears the dance form Stepping is also getting widescreen attention. Here are some of the movies on this African American art form:

"School Daze" (1988) musical-drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell.

Based in part on Spike Lee's experiences at Atlanta's Morehouse College, it is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. This was the second feature film directed by Spike Lee, and was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures.

"Stomp the Yard" (2007) drama film produced by Rainforest Films and released through Sony Pictures' Screen Gems division on January 12, 2007.

Directed by Sylvain White, Stomp the Yard centers around DJ Williams, a college student at a fictional historically Black university who pledges to join a fictional Greek-letter fraternity. The film's central conflict involves DJ's fraternity competing in various stepping competitions against a rival fraternity from the same school. The film's script was written by Robert Adetuyi, working from an original draft by Gregory Ramon Anderson. The film was originally titled Steppin', but to avoid confusion over the 2006 film Step Up, the title was changed.

"How She Move" (2008) Canadian film directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid and starring Rutina Wesley, Cl Bennett, and Romina D'Ugo. The film showcases the emerging street culture of step dancing and the talents of a new generation of Canadian-born actors. The film is produced by Celluloid Dreams, Sienna Films and MTV Films.

Motion pictures through the years reflect the way things were and are at the time of filming. The 1930s depression produced movies on how hard life was, the '70s showed movies on promiscuity, abortion, war and other social issues of the time, and so on.

Because Stepping is a continuously growing art form, documenting it at a certain period in time helps record its progress and changes.

Though most practitioners of this dance would say that these movies didn't do full justice to this art form, the message all these films are trying to relay is the same: Stepping is part of African American culture and is a part of the here and now.

MyStepShow.com is a free video sharing community website that features step team performances. Members can post and share video footage of their stepteam performances. Visit http://www.MyStepShow.com to learn more about the tradition of stepping.

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