dance

Who's Bad?: Michael Jackson's Movements

Meghan Pugh, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley English Department

Meghan Pugh, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley English Department, explores Jackson's dancing in the context of debates about race, gender, and American dance history. Jackson drew on a rich tradition of black vernacular dancing stretching back to the nineteenth-century, when Billy Kersands first did the Virginia Essence—the sliding, backwards step Jackson would make his own as the moonwalk—on the minstrel stage. Jackson also channeled the thrusting pelvis and wobbly hips of Elvis, a white man famous for singing like a black man.

Meghan Pugh, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley English Department, explores Jackson's dancing in the context of debates about race, gender, and American dance history. Jackson drew on a rich tradition of black vernacular dancing stretching back to the nineteenth-century, when Billy Kersands first did the Virginia Essence—the sliding, backwards step Jackson would make his own as the moonwalk—on the minstrel stage. Jackson also channeled the thrusting pelvis and wobbly hips of Elvis, a white man famous for singing like a black man. See a full slideshow of Meghan's retrospective of Michael Jackson and dance here:
http://www.ew.com/ew/package/0,,20288349_20289412,00.html

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