Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dancers and Performers Who Have Influenced Michael Jackson

Continuing with the dance theme of my blog earlier this week, Top 12 Songs About Dance Crazes, I thought I'd share this great clip I saw on youtube of people who had influenced Michael Jackson as a dancer and performer. MJ was without a doubt the most iconic and influential dancer/performer of the last 30 years, and he has influenced a generation of performers. And his influence is not just limited to artists in popular music, but it also extends to the world of dance. Many young dancers cite him as a major influence and the reason why they decided to pursue a career in dance. But who were the performers that inspired and influenced Michael Jackson?

What's fascinating about MJ's dance style is that he drew from several disparate sources and synthesized them into his own unique style. Some of those sources included tap, popping, jazz, locking and mime, to name a few. And he had a very diverse selection of influences. Some of them included James Brown, Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse, Jackie Wilson, Gene Kelly, Marcel Marceau, Sammy Davis, Jr., Charlie Chaplin and Jeffrey Daniel.

This clip focuses mainly on probably the two biggest influences on MJ's dance style--James Brown and Fred Astaire--but it also includes dance segments of lesser-known performers who had directly or indirectly influenced him. The video is very well-edited and also well-researched. I had never heard of a few of the performers featured in the video, and it was cool to learn about them.



Related blog entry: Michael Jackson's Bad: Out Of The Shadow Of Thriller

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