Michael’s signature dance moves

zinniabooklover

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Really. That's a perfect dancer's pose, long legs and a tiny but very effective movement 🤩
Exactly so. Michael wasn't a trained dancer but what he's doing here is every bit as fluid, exciting, beautiful, accomplished and breath-taking as anything I've seen from a contemporary dancer or ballet dancer.

Yes, he was blessed with good looks and an amazing physique. But, goodness me, what he was able to do with that physique.

Beautiful. ❤️
 

zinniabooklover

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As for Michael's hand and finger gestures, here are just a few. His hands and arms are very expressive.
 

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I take a bow for the person who started this thread. It evolved into something esthetically beautiful.
I am still wondering what that person was thinking when they started the thread and of this is what they had in mind 🤔 ;) . Good job though, why did no one think of this before!
 

zinniabooklover

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This thread has had the effect of getting me to go back and watch more of James Brown and Jackie Wilson dancing which might not have been the intention of the person who started this thread but I am grateful nonetheless.

I would also like the person who started the thread - whoever that might be - to tell me more about Michael doing the splits in the 60's and 70's. How does this person know? What special access to information do they have? Is there Soul Train footage I could watch? I am keen to know.
 

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@Hiker the guy must have been special, one of a kind. Maybe a genius…
I think we have established a while back that he is not a genius ... Though he did show some signs of intelligence by starting this thread ;)
 

zinniabooklover

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Jackie Wilson vids? Um, I probably haven't seen anything you haven't. Just the stuff on YT.

Anyway, this one here is my absolute fave. Shindig, 1965. I love everything about this. I love Jackie Wilson.

There was another Shindig clip that I used to watch a lot but I just checked and it didn't come up this time. It's the one with Fontella Bass.
 

zinniabooklover

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And I love this one as well. The Ed Sullivan Show. You don't see as much dancing cos they've got him up on a tiny little stage. But the performance overall is amazing. The staging is great. The backing dancers are awesome. Jackie's vocal performance is to die for although they've got him singing the song at 60 mph for some reason. They must have been running out of time. Live tv, lol.
 

zinniabooklover

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And getting back to Michael. I love this gif. I love the joyous freedom and fluidity of his movements here but mostly I love the particular way he uses his arms and hands. I'm a bit obsessed - oh, all right, I'm TOTALLY obsessed with his hands, arms and fingers. The way he uses them. Look at the beautiful way he uses his fingers here. So interesting, so clever, so intricate. The patterns he makes. The lines he's tracing through the air.
 

zinniabooklover

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f&m, hope you don't mind if I post this vid here. You already posted it somewhere else but I think it's nice to have stuff all together in one place. This is one of my faves, a TOTP performance which I remember from back in the day (although we only had b&w tv, not colour). There are so many things to love. Michael's awesome jacket. His vocal performance. The way he performs as if it's a gig not just a tv show. The way he's working the crowd. Plus, I think you can see lots of his signature things in here, a few dance moves, some gestures, lots of little things.
 

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And getting back to Michael. I love this gif. I love the joyous freedom and fluidity of his movements here
ABSOLUTELY love this move, it's totally mesmerizing, even hipnotising. Yes, the fluidity of this movement, hands, fingers, everything! I bet it's one of those impromptu moves when he just gets into the spirit because we don't see this repeated in every concert. I still don't know which one this is, have to do more research, though it feels like WBSS.
 

Michaels Lover

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ABSOLUTELY love this move, it's totally mesmerizing, even hipnotising. Yes, the fluidity of this movement, hands, fingers, everything! I bet it's one of those impromptu moves when he just gets into the spirit because we don't see this repeated in every concert. I still don't know which one this is, have to do more research, though it feels like WBSS.
Helsinki 97
 

83magic

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I think this video kind of illustrates what I described in my original post. it was shown at the beginning of the hayvenhurst interview from 83/84.

I see the trademark signature poses that were maybe inspired by bob fosse and Charlie Chaplin. however, I also see the spin, kick, and locking that came from Michael and streets.

again, he’s intricate, light , quick and smooth. it’s interesting to watch in slow motion to see what he did at some points.

drawing from all of those sources, whether they be eras or genres, then putting himself on top of that, was part of his genius.
 

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@83magic

Haven’t seen this one, freaking awesome. Love the move at around 15 sec when he sweeps his loose leg behind his standing leg. He is so elegant and that thin frame of his accentuates the moves even better, every single second of this video could be a wonderful poster. Definitely my fave era of MJ dancing though I love them all.

This camera angle and lighting was later used for the “in the closet“ video, I’m pretty sure that must have been Michael’s decision as we see the same frame here at Hayvenhurst.
 

zinniabooklover

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@filmandmusic

This is an awesome video compilation you found. Hope you don't mind, I'm posting it over here in dance moves so they're all together. The editing on this is great and the picture quality is good. So often with the film footage we get of Michael the quality is awful. Someone did a good job cleaning up the images.

And loads of bits from the Rome rehearsal. Gotta be happy about that. ❤️
 

zinniabooklover

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Don't know if this qualifies as a derail; if so, apologies but I don't know where else to put this.

Wanted to celebrate the opening pose from Dangerous. It's not a dance move, in the obvious sense, or even a signature gesture but it's so iconic and he did it so brilliantly I wanted to include it here. Partly because, if you want this to work, you need amazing dance skills, fabulous control over your physicality and supreme understanding of the importance of perfect timing. I think you need far more than just charisma to hold people's attention for that long when you're just standing still.

Starting his show by standing still was not unique to Michael. I saw Adam Ant do it in 1980 and saw James Brown do it in 1973. But Michael did take it to a whole other level. Of course he did. He held the pose for longer, his timing was exquisite, the turn of his head, taking off the glasses. Very theatrical, beautifully timed, stretching the tension just far enough and then making his next move.

It looks so simple but it's beautifully conceived and executed. Just gorgeous and mesmerising. True showmanship.
 

zinniabooklover

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Michael working hard, creating miracles.

Time stamp for Michael, approx 1m 15s.

In the second section he's wearing the little surgical cap on his head, this is after the Pepsi debacle.
 

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Don't know if this qualifies as a derail; if so, apologies but I don't know where else to put this.

Wanted to celebrate the opening pose from Dangerous. It's not a dance move, in the obvious sense, or even a signature gesture but it's so iconic and he did it so brilliantly I wanted to include it here. Partly because, if you want this to work, you need amazing dance skills, fabulous control over your physicality and supreme understanding of the importance of perfect timing. I think you need far more than just charisma to hold people's attention for that long when you're just standing still.

Starting his show by standing still was not unique to Michael. I saw Adam Ant do it in 1980 and saw James Brown do it in 1973. But Michael did take it to a whole other level. Of course he did. He held the pose for longer, his timing was exquisite, the turn of his head, taking off the glasses. Very theatrical, beautifully timed, stretching the tension just far enough and then making his next move.

It looks so simple but it's beautifully conceived and executed. Just gorgeous and mesmerising. True showmanship.
Although his frozen opening pose has become some sort of a signature 'dance move' for him, yet he should have avoided it in the 1993 Super Bowl Halftime performance.

He wasted nearly two minutes standing still, when he could have easily performed an extra song in those two minutes.

There is also a funny and rather embarrassing thing (in that pose) that happened to him in his 1993 Dangerous concert in Moscow.

When he turns his head to the other side, his sunglasses flew away (apparently, the rain played a role in that).

 
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