Little Prince (1974) Snake in the Grass

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Michaels Lover

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very interesting! I can definitely see it. he even almost moonwalked
 

SoCav

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Yes, Bob Fosse clearly was a big inspiration for Michael at that time.
 

HIStory

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very interesting! I can definitely see it. he even almost moonwalked

Well, if we call that a moonwalk, we might as well as call what MJ did here at 2:38 that too and this was before Little Prince.

 
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M

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I didn't call it a moonwalk..I said he almost moonwalked
 

HIStory

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I'm just saying this because I have seen many people claim under these YT videos that MJ "stole" the moonwalk from Fosse and never credited him. But Fosse did not create the moonwalk, there were people doing moonwalk-like moves before him. Also MJ never claimed to have created the moonwalk, but crediting Fosse for it is just as wrong as crediting MJ for it. (I'm not saying you credited him with it, but I have often seen people doing that on YT. That's plain ignorance about the history of dance.)

The influence I see is more in the elegance of their movements and perhaps the way they make the hat a part of their dance.
 
M

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I'm just saying this because I have seen many people claim under these YT videos that MJ "stole" the moonwalk from Fosse and never credited him. But Fosse did not create the moonwalk, there were people doing moonwalk-like moves before him. Also MJ never claimed to have created the moonwalk, but crediting Fosse for it is just as wrong as crediting MJ for it. (I'm not saying you credited him with it, but I have often seen people doing that on YT. That's plain ignorance about the history of dance.)

The influence I see is more in the elegance of their movements and perhaps the way they make the hat a part of their dance.
oh...I've never seen that. it made me think of what he said to Oprah when she asked where Moonwalk comes from, and he says from the black kids in the ghetto
and yeah, people assume that either Michael invented the moonwalk, or he claim that he did, because he made it so popular. of course, that's not his, or anyone else's fault
 
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barbee0715

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I'm just saying this because I have seen many people claim under these YT videos that MJ "stole" the moonwalk from Fosse and never credited him. But Fosse did not create the moonwalk, there were people doing moonwalk-like moves before him. Also MJ never claimed to have created the moonwalk, but crediting Fosse for it is just as wrong as crediting MJ for it. (I'm not saying you credited him with it, but I have often seen people doing that on YT. That's plain ignorance about the history of dance.)

The influence I see is more in the elegance of their movements and perhaps the way they make the hat a part of their dance.
You're right-there are probably thousands of videos all claiming to either have invented the moonwalk or claiming that Michael "stole it"-
If anybody is interested you should watch the "Steam Heat" routine Bob Fosse did with his wife, Gwen Verdon-I always thought that's where Michael got the inspiration for his high water pants.
Back in the 'olden days' before cable TV and movie musicals used to run on TV all the time, I used to think that Bob Fosse copied Gene Kelly-both were such physical, sexual dancers-low to the floor and gyrating hip movements-but Bob said in interviews that his idol was actually Fred Astaire.

Oh, speaking of the moonwalk-the "three kids" that Michael refers to in Moonwalk that taught him the dance were Jeffrey Daniel, Casper Canidate, and Cooley Jaxon-who I used to see on "Soul Train" all the time-and they in turn got their stuff from Electric Boogaloo and the Popper Lockers. ALL of them give credit to the street kids for starting this up.
Jeffrey and Casper are seen in Bad 25 helping with the choreography on "BAD" and all 3 of them danced in "BAD" and "Smooth Criminal." Maybe more, I don't know.

Here they are, all 3 together in 79-ironically, they're dancing to the Jackson HIT-"Working Day and Night"!!!! :)
 

barbee0715

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Well, I couldn't find Bob and Gwen dancing to "Steam Heat" but found the next best thing-Carol Haney doing it in the movie version (fun fact: Carol was Gene Kelly's right hand during his biggest musical hits-On the Town, American in Paris, Singing in the the Rain, etc. etc. etc.)




Well, ran across Gwen and Bob dancing in Damn Yankees in high water pants-I don't like the song but they're cute together.

 
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HIStory

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I think the white socks were used by several dancers (I even read claims it was Judy Garland), it's hard to say who did it first, especially if we don't only focus on what is on film (which is just the tip of the iceberg about what was going on in the dance world). It's also hard to tell where exactly MJ took the idea from when there could have been several sources.

I think all those stupid people on YT who always try to find fault in MJ and accuse him of stealing should read this article by Gene Kelly's widow, because they seem to have a fundamental problem in understanding how dance history - and art history in general, for that matter - works and what constitutes as inspiration and what as just copying.

Stealing from the Best


11/17/2014 03:29 pm ET | Updated Jan 17, 2015

n-GENE-KELLY-SINGING-IN-THE-RAIN-628x314.jpg
NBC via Getty Images




The outpouring of responses I received for my piece about Gene and the upcoming stage production of An American in Paris prompted me to think about creativity and influences and the question -- from whence comes art? Early in our conversations, Gene answered the question for me. "I believe that everyone has been influenced by people before him -- or events or happenings," he said. "The best just don't simply spring full-blown from the earth. They're picking up a seed that has been planted before."


For Gene, the seeds were many. "I stole from everybody," he said. Sometimes the borrowing was very conscious, as it was when he and his younger brother Fred went to Loew's Penn Theater in downtown Pittsburgh and picked up the steps of the great Bill Robinson. In Gene's mind, Robinson was "the epitome and the quintessence of tap dancing perfection." As he said, "There were guys that did more exciting stuff, like Buck and Bubbles, in rhythm styles. But Bill Robinson was it. I was very fortunate to be a young man coming along learning dancing when he was around." When I asked what was distinct about Robinson's style, Gene explained, "Nobody could get the ease and the grace and the sound that Bill Robinson got. I've never heard it quite that clean and clear again."


When I asked if he could he identify something in his films directly connected with Robinson, he said, "Sure, there are variations of Bill Robinson in the dance I do with Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain -- 'Moses Supposes.' Variations of it, but, basically, some of those steps are from Bill Robinson." According to Gene, "Bill himself had lifted from older minstrel men and vaudeville people before him; things such as asides to the audience or making jokes during the dance." And then there was Robinson's famous canting of his hat that would become one of Gene's signature gestures. "He always wore a derby and he would take that off and fan himself or twist it. And when he'd make an exit, sometimes he would cock it over his eyes. We all stole that from Bill Robinson, and, Lord knows, he might have stolen it from an older minstrel man before my day, before I was even born."


The influences spread through all forms of dance. "I soaked up everything that everybody had to teach," he said, "I went to every dance performance that played in Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, wherever I was. I would look at it. I'd imbibe it and it would be part of me." And, earlier, "I stole from Martha Graham and the American Ballet Theatre and all its great dancers. But I didn't think of it as that. I thought it was educating myself and knowing everything about dance I could know. I wanted to have enough dance that I could dance like Peer Gynt or I could dance like an American sailor getting off a ship."


It didn't stop there. Gene also turned to painting, sculpture, athletics, musicals, movies, books. "The more a dancer learns," he insisted, "the better he will be."


When I mentioned Gene's voracious appetite to dance historian Elizabeth Kaye, she said it reminded her of her friend Rudolf Nureyev. "He was like a huge Hoover, scooping up everything." When she asked him about his consumption, he replied with an impish grin, "I only steal from the best."
Though Gene appreciated when people paid tribute to his work, he never relished literal renderings. He preferred, instead, to see artists take his steps and ideas and turn them into something new. Referring to the role of the artist, he said, "If he just follows the leader and accepts what's been done before, naturally, that can be brought to a very high skill. But if he wants to change it in some way and do it differently, then it jumps up to the major league."


To Gene, Michael Jackson was one who made this leap. His movements were derivative, yet he transformed the many borrowings into a new and exciting art form. Like Gene, Michael had an uncanny ability to imitate things precisely. One night when Michael invited us to his house for dinner to discuss the possibility of him starring in a musical version of Frankie and Johnny, he stood in the living room and performed an exact rendition of Gene's "Ballin' the Jack" -- not the vaudeville-style number with Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal but the sexy, earthy version from Gene's hard-to-find 1959 Pontiac television special. He had it down to the minutest detail, including the Bill Robinson-inspired cocked hat. Later, when we were seated at the dining table, he launched into a near-perfect copy of "Makin' Whoopee," saying he loved Gene's harmonizing with Donald O'Connor on the old Eddie Cantor song.


I was struck by how much Gene and Michael were alike. Both were sponges, taking what they needed, modifying it, and setting aside the rest. By watching everything Gene did and mimicking his moves, Michael absorbed a whole history of dance -- a range of influences from the simple, clog-shoe-steps of Bill Robinson, to the masculine ballet of Russian Adolph Bolm and the modern ingenuity of Martha Graham -- and so much more.

Gene appreciated that Michael had "respect for the older generation," and that he made "no secret" of those who had helped to shape his style. For Gene, dance was a matter of influences and all dancers "have generations behind them." As he had advised his friend Fred Astaire years before when someone had stolen one of Fred's routines: "You mustn't get angry at this. You should be flattered that the guy stole your number. That's the sincerest form of flattery. That's happening to me, and I'm not going to resent it. I'm going to be proud of it."
Stealing from the best, indeed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patri...ng-from-the-best_b_6173404.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Each and every one of them "stole" from those before them - that includes Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse, Fred Astaire etc. There is no one 100% original (in any art form). That's how the chain of inspiration in art works. No artist exists in a vacuum. What matters is if someone is able to incorporate and transform all those elements into a new, own style. Which MJ obviously did.
 

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^^^Isn't this the most wonderful article, ever. I thought about writing Patricia Kelly a fan letter after reading this-and I also looked up and found the "Ballin' the Jack" routine she's referring to-and it is SO sexual-like she says "sexy, earthy version" and it is absolutely amazing-that must have been something for them to watch Michael do that whole thing for them. Wish I had been there.

I remember when he slapped the fedora on his head in Motown 25 and posed-and I was screaming at my mother-and hitting her arm-because I had no idea what he was about to do-the pants were Fosse, the pose was Sammy Davis or Ben Vereen, the hat was Sinatra/Garland-the loafers/socks were Gene Kelly-and then, of course, that bass line started and I freaked.
Guess the rest of the world did too. :)
 

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years ago I did a thread that went into deep of MJs influences... I should maybe restart it!
 
M

Michaels Lover

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years ago I did a thread that went into deep of MJs influences... I should maybe restart it!

do it! I have always been so fascinated with what/who inspired him. when I was younger, I spend HOURS studying many of the greats that he has mentioned who inspired him. it's very interesting
 

barbee0715

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years ago I did a thread that went into deep of MJs influences... I should maybe restart it!
I wish you would restart it. There are so many influences and so many artists that Michael adored. I truly loved how he could take so many diverse elements from so many different people and "mash" them up in a song or dance that was truly unique.

This sounds silly, but I remember watching 'Smooth Criminal' the first time. And I could hear him in my head: "I know how much you love the 'Girl Hunt' ballet, Barbee. Here's MY version."
 

kevin_1990

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do it! I have always been so fascinated with what/who inspired him. when I was younger, I spend HOURS studying many of the greats that he has mentioned who inspired him. it's very interesting

Exactly this thread is all about what inspired him MJ only went on what he seen and liked just like the people before him and people after him
 

barbee0715

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Can i just make clear i did not post this to say MJ was stealing it was to show he was influenced by this.

Here is a early version of the moonwalk from 1955 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y71njpDH3co skip to 2:03

i don't feel that taken something and building on it to make it better is stealing
You were clear. No one here is confused about the difference between stealing and influence.
It's only on places like YouTube where people so obviously don't understand the difference.


(oh, by the way, DON'T READ the YouTube comments on the "Snake in the Grass" routine that you posted. Those commentators flat out DO NOT know the difference between copying and influence. Those are particularly ridiculous).
 
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M

Michaels Lover

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Can i just make clear i did not post this to say MJ was stealing it was to show he was influenced by this.

Here is a early version of the moonwalk from 1955 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y71njpDH3co skip to 2:03

i don't feel that taken something and building on it to make it better is stealing
it's ok. no one thought that :) don't worry. and the Bill Bailey video was the first time I ever saw of someone else doing the moonwalk, years ago
 
M

Michaels Lover

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in the Oprah interview, I just LOVE it when he says: well, the moonwalk came from these beautiful children, these black kids who live in the ghettos. and you know, the inner cities who are brilliant. they just have that natural talent for dancing. any of the new hot...the running man, any of these dances. they come up with these dances. all I did was enhance the dance

then in the Bashir interview, when he's on the train (at Neverland) with all the kids, and one of them ask him to teach them how to moonwalk, and he says: aaw you know how to moonwalk. I learned it from you guys

I bet the kid is thinking, "huh?" :lol: he (Michael) is so sweet :wub:
 

barbee0715

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Speaking of Bob Fosse, I was on a website reading a review of his new biography, that I'm interested in buying. And in the review, it mentions that Michael was desperate to get Bob Fosse to direct "Thriller." Fosse was his first choice.

Now, that struck me as odd, not to mention that I had never heard that before-ever. I can see maybe Fosse directing something like the Billie Jean video-maybe-since it's a more sexual thing-but Thriller? Anybody else ever heard this?
 

Bad7

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You were clear. No one here is confused about the difference between stealing and influence.
It's only on places like YouTube where people so obviously don't understand the difference.


(oh, by the way, DON'T READ the YouTube comments on the "Snake in the Grass" routine that you posted. Those commentators flat out DO NOT know the difference between copying and influence. Those are particularly ridiculous).

It's typical of people. Every single dance move ever could be labelled a copy going by those fools. There's copying and there's inspiring.

People are just intentionally dumb or ignorant. That or they don't realise that if somebody inspires another person, you're going to see similarities. Especially in dance.
 
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mj_brainiac

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the white socks and loafers came from Gene Kelly. Fosse AND Michael got it from him.

Fosse was heavily influenced by Gene and Fred as well
 

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Many dancers take inspiration from each other and MJ used things from dancers before him, taking inspiration from those before you is good, there are a number of similarities with MJ and other dancers but I wouldn't call it "stealing."

Calloway 1932:

[video]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/5/5f/Minnie_the_Moocher_%281932%29.webm/Minnie_the_Moocher_%281932%29.webm.160p.ogv#t=0:0: 26,0:1:7[/video]

Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien used it in “Meet Me in St. Louis” when they performed the song “Under The Bamboo Tree” in 1944:
(1:35)

[video=youtube;1grzsbVrXyg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1grzsbVrXyg&feature=player_detailpage[/video]

John William Sublett “Cabin In The Sky” in 1943;
(2:06, 2:17)

[video=youtube;c58AAcnaPTo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=c58AAcnaPTo[/video]

Bill Bailey around 1955:
(0:19, 1:29)

[video=youtube;2VbPd2iu4bg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2VbPd2iu4bg[/video]

Marcel Marceau used a moonwalk-like move in his mime routine “Walking Against the Wind” from around the 1940’s to 1980’s, Dick Van Dyke used it in his Mailing A Letter On A Windy Corner skit:

[video=youtube;hp3XZdTtNfE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hp3XZdTtNfE[/video]

Adalberto Martinez "Resortes" “Summer School” in the late 1950’s:
(0:14)

[video=youtube;C-26Xy0PS_Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=C-26Xy0PS_Y[/video]

In 1969 on the episode “You Can’t Have Your Cake” on H.R. Pufnstuf, Judy the frog moonwalks to distract castle guards:

[video]http://www.vudu.com/movies/#!overview/215169/HR-Pufnstuf-You-Cant-Have-Your-Cake[/video]
 
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