Best dance clips on the web

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Dance is by nature an ephemeral art form, but thanks to the power of YouTube, the maxim 'you had to be there' just doesn't hold true any more. From Filipino prisoners to Russian ballerinas, B-boy champs and bedroom disco divas, they're all cemented in cyberspace for repeat viewing

  • There are a few dance sites that are producing meaty video content. Article19 (www.article19.co.uk) is one, posting high-quality video of current contemporary choreographers. But often the real gems are the glimpse of a late legend in a grainy VHS transfer or the mobile phone footage of a just-this-moment-invented trick or trend. Here are some of our current favourites:

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    The Michael Jackson tribute
    A topical one. Swedish street dance group Bounce – who’ll be bringing their show ‘Insane in the Brain’ back to London in September, incidentally – organised 300 dancers to burst into a ‘Beat It’ routine in central Stockholm. Rather more successful than that mass moonwalk at Liverpool Street Station (www.tinyurl.com/TObounce).

    Makarova in the studio
    Fantastic studio footage of Soviet defector-turned-Royal Ballet principal Natalia Makarova. She was 45 when this was shot, amazingly, but still has the grace, poise and line of a star ballerina. Great commentary, too (www.tinyurl.com/TOmakarova1).

    Dance_internetdance (4).jpg James Brown’s dance lessons
    Could there be anyone better to teach you a little funky chicken, some mashed potato or the camel walk? Fans are in some dispute about whether it’s really the Godfather of Soul, but there’s no mistaking that voice (www.tinyurl.com/TObrown).

    Juke and jumpstyle
    Forget krumping, that’s so 2005. Direct from Chicago, these days it’s all about the super-fast footwork of juke (www.tinyurl.com/TOjuke). The northern Europeans, alternatively, go for jumpstyle, a sort of demented hopscotch for hardcore fans (www.tinyurl.com/TOjumpstyle).

    Dance_internetdance (3).jpg Michael Clark with his bum out
    Michael Clark and dancers perform with The Fall on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ in 1984. Shouty, punky, edgy brilliance, with added backsides. You don’t get this on ‘Later’ with Jools (www.tinyurl.com/TOclark).

    Jazz fusion dance-off

    Brothers in Jazz take on the Back Street Kids in a boxing ring, filmed for Channel 4 in the early ’90s (www.tinyurl.com/TOjazzbattle1).

    Dance_internetdance (2).jpg Hellzapoppin’
    Fast, fierce, jaw-dropping Lindy hopping, featuring swing king Frankie Manning in a clip from the 1941 film ‘Hellzapoppin’' (www.tinyurl.com/TOhellzapoppin).

    Siobhandaviesarchive.com
    Siobhan Davies is the first choreographer to put her whole archive online, with rehearsal and performance footage dating back to 1977. Start with the gliding, hypnotic ‘Plain Song’ from 1983 (www.tinyurl.com/TOsiobhandavies).

    Dance_internetdance.jpg Liz Aggiss’s ‘Motion Control’
    There’s a whole genre of dance made for camera, and scary diva Liz Aggiss’s ‘Motion Control’ is a great example of exploiting the possibility of film, using sound design to give movement a new dimension (www.tinyurl.com/TOaggiss).

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