Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson Performs Moon Walk

The Moon Walk, a dance technique perfected by Michael Jackson, gives the illusion that the dancer is walking forward, while actually he is moving backward. To understand it better, think of a conveyor belt moving fast backward on which a person walks forward at a slower pace. To create this impression on stage, a lot of practice and perfection of movement is required and ordinary dancers may find it impossible to perform. But Jackson could assimilate it with his other movements and perform with ease, while the audience is transported to a magical world.

The dance move became immensely popular after it was performed by Michael Jackson during his song "Billie Jean" on the March 25, 1983, television special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever”. It eventually became his signature dance move and has become one of the best known dance moves in the world.

The moonwalk was originally known as "backslide", or "walking on toes". Some writers claim the moonwalk was recorded back in 1955 in a performance by tap dancer Bill Bailey. The French mime, Marcel Marceau, used it throughout his career, (1940s-1980s). James Brown used the move in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Jeffrey Daniel performed a self-made variation of the moon walk in a performance of Shalamar's "A Night To Remember" on Top of the Pops in 1982. A member of the Electric Boogaloos performance group, Timothy 'Popin Pete' Solomon, also performed the dance move in the Talking Heads video 'Crosseyed And Painless', which aired around 1981.

Maybe, as none of the artists above could perfect it or perform it as Jackson could, most people often describe it as an invention by Jackson. However, there is no other entertainer in history who combined the effects of music, dance, theatrics, stage arts and magic in such a way that he became a craze among music and dance lovers worldwide. There was a time when his dance moves were being practiced by people such as prisoners in Philippines prisons to street boys in Peru, and teens from Noida to Nevada.

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