A Lockdown Project (yawn)
I didn’t want to do it but I just couldn’t help myself…
March 2020 and here we are. Plunged into the strange and unfamiliar end time that is ‘lockdown’. For me, the waters barely stir. I continue going to a workplace. I am never lonely. Life trots along pretty much as normal which is weird in itself. But I do miss dancing – the losing-my-shit-in-a-studio kind of dancing (as opposed to the gingerly-tiptoeing-around-my-bedroom-‘your-internet-is-unstable’ kind of online dancing). And, like everyone else on the planet, I make a lockdown playlist (LDMFOR – see below) which becomes the inspiration for this little project.
To explain. MFOR*. Money for old rope. The idea of tired old shit that gets pitched as something new and great but is actually a giant obvious boring cliché. I’m not a fan of the cliché. But I am interested in the existence of the cliché. The concept of MFOR (or my version of it) is something I’ve been pondering as a potential project for a long time. And lockdown gifted us with all manner of MFOR (LDMFOR, if you will). Baking. Learning Mandarin. Jogging. Zoom. The Tiger King (see also: Normal People). Having a bookcase behind you when being interviewed on TV. Filming a home haircut. The lockdown playlist (ha!). Blah blah. You know the score.
And here I am, late to the party, with my own LDMFOR project…a series of routines choreographed to songs from my lockdown playlist. Obviously, if I was savvy in any way, I would have done this from day one and taught the routines live online. But I’m an asshole and I didn’t start to think about filming until I was six routines in and lockdown was practically over (and my carefully curated bowl haircut was in collapse and no longer fit for public consumption). No matter. It was a joy making some bedroom art and, true to my ‘modern life is rubbish’ stance, I’m happy to have done something for no other reason than I fancied it. Plus, MFOR (the brand!) is now officially open for business. Yay.
I’ll talk more about the songs in the individual blogs, but a little word about the routines. For me, to choreograph in a full out way I need a studio. I want a studio. I want to be free to DANCE. But, I can do simple stuff in my bedroom. Thus, this project has been perfect for these indoor times. My aim has been to create slightly better than average ‘flashmob’ choreography. Ha ha. Reaching for the stars! It’s harder than it sounds – making simple stuff interesting is challenging and I have sweated over these moves. I hope the result is a series of routines that are easy enough to learn in a few minutes yet full of tiny surprises. I hope they feel like LIVING.
Disclaimer: These are not virtuoso performances. Just me, in an attic, grappling with an iPhone, creaky floorboards and a bad haircut. The sound is a bit ropey and the elements make numerous uninvited appearances! No left or right instructions – do whatever feels most natural to you…mirror me or flip it and use the same arms and legs as I do. Dancers’ choice.
*The influence of the four letter acronym in the City of Bristol, England. Yeh. It’s a thing here. DTYM. WTOQ. ESDR. I want in.
For Chrissie and Amanda. It’s not dancing (if it’s not with you).
Up first: Screwed. Janelle Monáe…