Nile Rodgers, guitarist for the popular disco era group Chic said “It felt to us like Nazi book-burning, This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word ‘disco’.”
There was never a focused backlash against disco in Europe.
Now, for the first time on this blog: local news coverage of this Dionysian moment.
Philippine “Pina” Bausch (July 27, 1940 – June 30, 2009) was a German-born modern dance choreographer, best-known for her piece Café Müller (1978).
Modern dance is a dance form developed in the early 20th century with its golden age in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the term Modern dances has also been applied to a category of 20th century ballroom dances, Modern dance as a term usually refers to 20th century concert dance. Generally mentioned in this category are Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.
With more than 100 million albums sold, Thriller (1982) is the bestselling album of all time and is iconic in the history of 20th century popular music, where he is the natural heir to Elvis Presley. Beyond both dying from an abuse of prescription drugs, parallels beween Presley and Jackson are numerous (Graceland/Neverland). Lisa Marie Presley, for a short time married to Jackson in the nineties wrote at the time of Jackson’s death that he knew “exactly how his fate would be played out” and feared his death would echo that of Elvis Presley.
A friend lent me her copy of the book above, an excellent compendium of visuals of the perennial favourite dance of death theme. Dansen met de Dood is a Dutch language book on the iconography of dance of death by Johan De Soete, Harry Van Royen and Dirk Vanclooster. Dance of Death, also variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza Macabra (Italian) or Totentanz (German), is a late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the dance of death unites all. La Danse Macabre consists of the personified death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave—typically with an emperor, king, pope, monk, youngster, beautiful girl, all skeletal. They were produced to remind people of how fragile their lives were and how vain the glories of earthly life were. Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest artistic examples are in a cemetery (Cimetière des Innocents) in Paris from 1424.
Released as an album and a twelve inch single on the New York Prelude record label, Disco Circus by French outfit Martin Circus which first came to my attention as a favourite of the Detroit techno artists such as Juan Atkins and Derrick May (who listed it as his top 5 record in the late eighties). It is an example of the cross-fertilization of the European and North American disco markets of the late 1970s. Other examples of which are Orlando Riva Sound‘s Moon Boots single which was released on the American imprint Salsoul records