Natalie Wagner mit der Commonality Dance Company in Zürich!

Natalie Wagner, welche bei meinem Projekt mitgemacht hat, tanzt am kommenden Sonntag, 3. August im Kongresshaus Zürich:

Commonality Dance Company, L.A.

Choreografie: Adam Parson

So, 3. August 2008 20 Uhr
Kongresshaus Zürich
Die Contemporary-Jazz Dance Company verzauberte das Publikum
bereits in Asien, Deutschland und Italien. Das erste Mal kommen sie in die
Schweiz und bieten auf höchstem Niveau ein Abendfüllendes Programm
aus Kurzstücken an.
Gast-Tänzerin: Natalie Wagner
Tickets: / 0900 325 325

Swan Lake Earned Me a Bachelor’s Degree

It’s official — I finished the project last minute as I usually do and presented the results on Wednesday. The team of experts then had a brief meeting and gave me a passing grade. So, yaaay, I am now officially a college graduate.

THANKS TO EVERYBODY WHO HELPED MAKING THIS PROJECT A SUCCESS — and no, I will not share the final images here. Well, not now anyway — I would like to keep the tableaus under tap until the show in September (mark your calendars: MESSE BASEL, SEPT 15–21).

In the spirit of celebration I would like to share a video that’s only slightly dance-related but nonetheless heart-warming and a beautiful example of how dance — even in it’s silliest form — can bring people together. Thanks to Max for passing this on to me, please visit Matt’s website (that’s the guy in the video).

For higher quality: Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Swan Lake Different Yet (Ballet and Swan Lake in Popular Culture, Vol. 3 [?])

As I was browsing the internet, hoping to find a hip hop remix of Swan Lake to use at the upcoming final presentation of my project, i stumbled upon two reggae-ish versions: The first, a reggae rendering of the theme, was recorded in 1968 by a British band called The Cats (it seems they were from Brixton — though this information is from a questionable source). The second — similar, but with a stronger two tone sound — was released some eleven years later by Madness from London on their debut album One Step Beyond… .

The Cats – Swan Lake (Trojan, 1968)

Madness – Swan Lake
(Footage from Joe Massot’s 1981 Documentary Dance Craze)

Oh, and yes, I am aware of the classic Blackalicious track Swan Lake produced by DJ Shadow and Chief Xcel. But while it actually did sample Tchaikovsky’s music — it is too subtle to be immediately recognised as such.

Blackalicious – Swan Lake (Solesides, 1994)

Ballet and Swan Lake in Popular Culture Vol. 2

Swan Lake in animated films…:

Clip from Karo Yabuki’s Sekai Meisaku Douwa – Hakuchou no Mizuumi (Swan Lake), (Japan, 1981)

Opening from the same film dubbed in English

Opening scene from Richard Rich’s The Swan Princess (USA, 1994)

Trailer for Owen Hurley’s Barbie of Swan Lake (USA, 2003)

…and comic strips:
In 1998 Tachibana Higuchi created a manga with the title Swan Lake. You will find it for download at and a review at sunny side up.

Ballet and Swan Lake in Popular Culture Vol. 1 1/2

As the example of Kerli showed, Swan Lake — and ballet in general, for that matter — is still present in popular culture. And because I am fascinated by the various forms this presence can take on, I decided to compile some of the ways in which ballet and Swan Lake have appeared in popular culture. A few music videos…:

Labutí píseň – Jiří Suchý, Vlasta Kahovcová, TOČR, Karel Krautgartner (Czechoslovakia, 196?)

Toni Basil – Mickey (on the Kenny Everett Video Show) (USA, 1982)

Ballet Dancer – The Twins (Germany, 1983)

Impressions From the Last Shoot

The deadline is approaching fast… And so, this past Tuesday, we were doing one last shoot. It was supposed to be held on location by the swan pool, but rain prohibited us from it. Hence it turned into yet another studio shoot. And with my usual digital back unavailable from the rental place, I was shooting with a very dirty Imacon sensor on a Hassy. So, with hours of Photoshop awaiting me, here are a few (pretty much) unedited shots:

Kerli Plays Creepy Little White Swan/Black Swan

Today I stumbled upon Estonian pop singer Kerli playing creepy little White Swan/Black Swan in the video to her song “Walking On Air” which premiered on May 20 of this year. — Seems like I am not the only one still inspired by Swan Lake.