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Thread: Where did the Moonwalk/Michael's dance moves originate?

   
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    Default Where did the Moonwalk/Michael's dance moves originate?

    I have heard of various sources for the Moonwalk. I do know that Michael did not originate it (much to the surprise of many of my friends strangely enough) and he has said as much.

    Recently in one of the article about Thriller I read that the dancer that taught it to Michael witnessed Michael's first performance of it (the oe who said he wondered what took Michael so long before he actually used it). Now I just saw this article referring to Bojangles Camel walk. Now showing Michael how to do something is not the same as being the originator so both the story about the man who taigh it to Michael and what is said about the Camel walk may be true.

    Does anyone know, and does anyone have a link to a vid of Bojangles doing his Camel walk? I think WBSS posted some of his dancing once when they did a countdown of the best dancers of all time on some TV show.

    And Robinson dropping out of school to start his career at the age of 7? Wow. I guess MIchael isn't the only one who stasrted young.


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20071224...0071224lands01

    They Hit The Right Notes
    Cord Cooper Mon Dec 24, 5:36 PM ET


    By perfecting their skills, innovators Scott Joplin and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson helped vault black culture into the mainstream. "

    Joplin, the legendary ragtime pianist, was influenced by his mother, who played the banjo and instilled a love for music in young Scott.
    Joplin (1867-1917) began improvising on the church piano after services, drawing large crowds as he played his own arrangements of hymns and spirituals.
    Since she couldn't afford lessons but wanted him to hone his talent, Joplin's mom, a maid, persuaded clients to let him practice on their pianos while she cleaned house.
    By his early 20s, Joplin had become an accomplished musician. He studied harmony and composition at a black college in Sedalia, Mo., and spent the next several years entertaining saloon audiences with the new ragtime sound.
    By 1898, he'd formed his own group and published six tunes. His first hit, "Maple Leaf Rag," was published in 1899, moving Joplin and ragtime into the national spotlight, notes Peter Gammond, author of "Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Era."
    Joplin went on to write classics such as "The Entertainer" and "The Gladiolus Rag," as well as two ragtime operas.
    The Dancer
    Bill Robinson saw talent as a way to break through racial barriers. Born Luther Robinson in 1878, he spent his early years in Richmond, Va. His parents died when he was a baby.
    While living with his grandmother, he became interested in local minstrel shows and began dancing in local beer gardens for spare change.
    To encourage large donations, Robinson worked on his routines and formed dance partnerships with friends. At age 7, he dropped out of school to pursue a career in show business.
    By perfecting a range of dance numbers in his late teens and early 20s, he was ready when opportunity hit. In 1902, singer-dancer George Cooper asked Robinson to be his partner.
    Stepping Out
    Robinson became one of the first black vaudevillians to break into other media.
    "He developed his own style, wearing full dress, top hat and carrying a cane, and leaving the stage with his signature exit, the Camel Walk, a dance that Michael Jackson was to adapt much later as the Moon Walk," Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West wrote in "The African-American Century."
    Robinson went on to perform in London and at New York's Palace Theater. He appeared in 14 films in the 1930s and '40s, including hits such as "The Little Colonel" and "Stormy Weather."
    He became known as the ultimate scene stealer. Reason? Those feet.

    "Bojangles's dance was controlled, light, perfectly timed, tapping out a rhythm as clear as a Louis Armstrong note, and it opened a public window on black vernacular dance," Gates and West wrote. Bojangles died in 1949. Schools in Harlem, N.Y., were closed the day of his funeral
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

  2. #2
    MsTenda
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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?


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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by MsTenda View Post
    Thank you. I was searching you tube and found somer amazing videos of him dancing but hadn't found one of him doing the Camel Walk yet. I did find one of James Brown doing it (he anounces it) but front on so you couldn't see it.
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

  4. #4
    elusive moonwalker
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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    is the camel walk that side shuffle that JB used to do? u tube wontwork on dialup

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by elusive moonwalker View Post
    is the camel walk that side shuffle that JB used to do? u tube wontwork on dialup
    No. It is front to back. When Bojangles does it (and from what I could see of JB it is a quick step rather than a long glide like Michael does. Bojangles did it as a tap step, if you can picture that, but the gerneral movement is the same as the moonwalk.
    Last edited by eternitys_child; 25-12-2007 at 08:06 PM.
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    So does anyone remember the name of the dancer who supposedly taught the moonwalk to Michael? I think his name started with a D. I am wondering if he had already lengthened the stride from what Bojangles did.
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Jeffery Daniels, I think.


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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mello1 View Post
    Jeffery Daniels, I think.
    Thanks. Thast is who I was trying to remember. I just found this in the urban dictionary:

    Moonwalk50 up, 11 downWhat is now known as the cobra which is rotating around on your heels while moving your upper arm/chest muscles to the beat was the original moonwalk. It can be seen in the first scene of the movie Breakdance, also on Michael Jackson Victory tour performances

    The one Michael Jackson performed at Motown 25 is known as the backslide and was taught to him by Jeffrey Daniels and Geron Canidate who had performed it on Soul Train. Jeffrey Daniels first (not first ever) execution of the Moonwalk in the UK (82' TotP, introduction of street dancing to the UK) can be seen here


    www.twilightplayers.com/videos/jeffreydaniel.wmv

    The earliest video for the backslide is that of Bill Bailey in 1955

    www.putfile.com/media.php?n=tp-bailey (file origin from www.offjazz.com)

    People think it might date back to the 20's.

    Other variations are gliding, which is when you do it to the side, moving forwards and staying static (on the spot).
    1. Did you see when Michael Jackson performed the Moonwalk at Motown 25?

    2. Damn, that Moonwalk was sick!





    The moonwalk is at 2:02 in the first video and it is the same style as the one Michael does. It's pretty good too!
    Last edited by eternitys_child; 25-12-2007 at 08:33 PM. Reason: add note
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    There are several people who claim to have taught Michael the moonwalk. Its actually called the back slide, and the rotating step that Michael used to do is originally known as the moonwalk. I've heard that dancers used to perform the moonwalk in the 1930s to exit away from a dance partner or obviously to exit stage. There is a clip of a dancer named Bill Baily from the 1950s doing the moonwalk.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VbPd2iu4bg

    The shuffle James Brown used to do is called the mashed patatoes. You can see Michael do the camel walk I think in his audition tape for Motown. When he does that slow, stiff walk forward.
    Last edited by wannabestartinsomthin21; 26-12-2007 at 12:19 AM.



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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    The backslide (moonwalk) goes back YEARS. It didn't just come of age in 1983.


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    At least all the following acts claimed credit for teaching "Moonwalk" to Jackson:
    1) group Boogalo (Michael Chambers, Popin Pete, others)
    2) group Shalamar (Geron "Casper" Candidate, Cooley Jackson, Jeffrey Daniel)
    3) group Backshuffle
    4) group Jakarta (Indonesia)
    5) Marcel Marceau (not directly, but via visual observation)

    There is no doubt that if anyone would ask, much more acts and goups will tell how they taught Michael to "Moonwalk". I listed only those who told about themselves (some of them just never stop talk about even though they directly contradict to each other).

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by denisrs View Post
    At least all the following acts claimed credit for teaching "Moonwalk" to Jackson:
    1) group Boogalo (Michael Chambers, Popin Pete, others)
    2) group Shalamar (Geron "Casper" Candidate, Cooley Jackson, Jeffrey Daniel)
    3) group Backshuffle
    4) group Jakarta (Indonesia)
    5) Marcel Marceau (not directly, but via visual observation)

    There is no doubt that if anyone would ask, much more acts and goups will tell how they taught Michael to "Moonwalk". I listed only those who told about themselves (some of them just never stop talk about even though they directly contradict to each other).
    Didn't Michael himself once say it was from kids on the street?

    Currently whoever wrote what is on Wiki credits Marcel Marceau.

    One dance site I found says it goes back to the 30's (as WBSS says) but as used by mimes and that is its origin.
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Yes, Michael has credited kids on the street. Of course, I don't think he meant litterally, but figuratively. The step became popular again with street dancer's in the 70s and 80s and Michael I'm sure means he saw kids on the street performing it and thought it would be a cool thing to do.
    Last edited by wannabestartinsomthin21; 26-12-2007 at 01:15 AM.



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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by wannabestartinsomthin21 View Post
    There are several people who claim to have taught Michael the moonwalk. Its actually called the back slide, and the rotating step that Michael used to do is originally known as the moonwalk. I've heard that dancers used to perform the moonwalk in the 1930s to exit away from a dance partner or obviously to exit stage. There is a clip of a dancer named Bill Baily from the 1950s doing the moonwalk.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VbPd2iu4bg

    The shuffle James Brown used to do is called the mashed patatoes. You can see Michael do the camel walk I think in his audition tape for Motown. When he does that slow, stiff walk forward.
    Bojangles goes backwards while walking forward in the video. The article is posted says he did it as a stage exit as you described it was used by dancers in the 30's. I looked up Michael's Motown audition on you tube and am not sure which part he does it in. What a shame they don't show his feet. Can you say what time he does it at? Here is the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZGf4LujriI
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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    Default Re: Where did the Moonwalk really originate?

    Quote Originally Posted by wannabestartinsomthin21 View Post
    Yes, Michael has credited kids on the street. Of course, I don't think he meant litterally, but figuratively. The step became popular again with street dancer's in the 70s and 80s and Michael I'm sure means he saw kids on the street performing it and thought it would be a cool thing to do.
    Did you look at the 'twilightplayers' url I posted?

    www.twilightplayers.com/videos/jeffreydaniel.wmv


    It shows Daniels doing it. Obviously he didn't invent it either but his is really the same as Michael's version whereas the earlier versions were only the same in their foundation (that you move backward while seemingly walking forward).
    "I like to take sounds and put them under the microscope and talk about how we want to manipulate the character of it."
    ---Michael Jackson

    Different though they are in detail, people are forever leaning on one another, trying to be whatever will not displease others, afraid of being themselves.

    From the Pattern 'Mosaic of Subcultures' in "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

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