[FOUNTAIN]Footloose and fancy free

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[FOUNTAIN]Footloose and fancy free

Bare foot with no shoes. A loose-fitting and see-through half-naked dress. The woman who came to America from London by a cattle boat as a third-class dancer started a strange dance. The moves were totally different from classical ballet, which emphasized the beauty of form following the fixed rules from the Middle Ages. “I feel most free when I dance,” she said. This is the story of Isadora Duncan, the pioneer of modern dance who lived from 1878 to 1927.
She set the human body free from the restricted frames and expressed her inner world through dance. She praised the Bolsheviks through dance and criticized the barbarian acts of the German army, which invaded France. She even danced in the ancient ruins of the Greece and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. Her dance now only remains in old black-and-white pictures and a short documentary film of Isadora dancing in a garden party. However, the barefoot Isadora still remains a legend. Her life was filled with tragedy. She lost her children to a boat accident and strangled to death on her own scarf after it got caught in the back tire of a sports car.
Harlem World is located on 116th Street in Harlem, New York city. This is where the black teenaged dancers from the back streets of New York gathered, starting 30 years ago. Loose T-shirts and spacious jeans nearly dragged on the floor. Some gangs competeded with each other on their dance skills. They created their own dances to their own music and danced their minds away. It was the liberated sanctuary for dance.
These days, the streets in Korea are full of these B-boys dancing on the streets. The B-boy culture has become a new communication tool for teenagers. The basic spirit of B-boy is freedom. There are no fixed rules, from their dance motions to their outfits. Their style is doing whatever they want, whenever they want to. It is like the modern version of Isadora Duncan.
Recently, the Korean B-boys are gaining the spotlight. They have prevailed in major international competitions and there is even a performance hall for the B-boys. Their splendid moves refuse gravity.
Foreign tourists gather to their dance. The abandoned kids hit a home run.
Korean teenagers expressing themselves grandly and receiving praise from around the world is not bad.
However, there are many teenagers visiting the hospital due to disarticulation, bruises and injured disk.
One request just for their own good. “Can’t you guys dance a little gently, wearing helmets and protective devices? ”


by Lee Chul-ho

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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