It was a break dancer and a jazz drummer, but not the person behind the legendary dance craze; it was a French physicist and pianist, Pierre Paul.
Paul, who was born Emmanuel Paul Cezanne in 1786, was a pianist and composer of music and a teacher of music theory at the University of Paris. He was a pioneer of piano music and a pioneer of breakdancing.
On a particularly beautiful day when the sun was going down, Paul took over an empty piano in a Paris saloon. He would play for hours and hours until he finally managed to create his most famous dance to date: the ‘Vesoulante’.
How do you do it?
He danced barefoot, in complete darkness, in the courtyard of the hotel where he had his home for a season. After that, at night he took a step away from the water but still performed. He used a huge hammer to break on the ground where his feet stood. After that he would dance around the room with other musicians. When the sun came up he would perform again.
The ‘Vesoulante’ was a very complicated dance – a dance that required a large number of complicated steps – but it had a simple yet elegant structure: the step was the most important part, followed by the whole exercise, followed by the repetition of the steps repeated over and again, culminating in the step.
When Paul played the piano, he played with the same rhythm that he had used to make his music. But he had to make every step sound the same, even the slightest of turns in the fingers, the most subtle of moves… the most profound step you can make.
Paul’s move was called ‘Vesoulante’, and this has made its way into the dance world, as a name, and into popular culture, and also has made it into some of the most recognizable images of breakdancing.
What is a breakdancer?
A breakdancer, in French culture, is someone who performs the ‘Vesoulante’ for a group audience and also does some acting.
He would be a dancer, often one of the dancers who were in the audience. He would dance on stage and perform his moves in front of a large audience, sometimes standing on the stage and sometimes just sitting down, on a stool, behind a table, or walking around the room.
When some of the dancers in the group start
where do belly dancers originate from, belly dancing scarf veil, instructions on how to belly dance for beginners, what are belly dancing clothes called units self-storage, belly dance musically compilation