Britney Spears always fights back. By dancing.

When Britney Spears speaks out in June During a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, she spoke of how those responsible for her management had rigorously managed her life for 13 years, calling the arrangement “abusive.” But she also highlighted one way she has held some control.

She continued to dance.

She “actually did most of the choreography,” she said, referring to the 2018 rehearsals for her later residency “Britney: Domination” in Las Vegas, “meaning me taught my dancers my new choreography.”

Yes “lots of videos“Among these online rehearsals, she said, adding, ‘I wasn’t good – I was great. “

It was a powerful way to remind her listeners of the confidence she has conveyed as a performer throughout her career. On stage, Spears maintains control over her body, otherwise the subject of constant surveillance – about her virginity, her weight, her wardrobe. Through movement, she conjures up a world of her own making, in which she is truly the boss.

With her outstretched arm gestures, lightning-fast turns, and abdominal dexterity, Spears has always used dance to convey her strength. Brian Friedman, the choreographer responsible for some of Spears’ most famous routines, noted that there was a glaring shift in her approach to dance after conservatorship was introduced in 2008.

“I feel like that’s her way of being able to control something, because she doesn’t have too much control,” Friedman said in a phone interview. “So by being able to walk into the studio and say ‘I don’t want to do this, I want to do this, I’m going to make my own,’ that gave her some strength. there.”

When Spears announced “A job on an indefinite hiatus” In early 2019, she started posting videos of herself dancing to Instagram. Most of these clips show her twirling around alone, in an impromptu fashion, on the marble floor of her California home.

In the video, she looks straight at the camera, only occasionally turning her head or flipping her hair. This is not the movement of the stage performer and the pop star rehearsed; it’s more exploratory, as if she’s looking for the right move or feeling instead of trying to catch up with it.

Under the care of a conservator, Spears’ video became the subject of debate and speculation. While some fans cheered her on, others were annoyed by her lack of polish and poor look. “Has anyone ever felt awkward or uncomfortable watching this?” someone asked in the comments of a post in February.

For Spears, however, the matter was simple. It’s about “rediscovering my love of dance”, she wrote in a March post. In others, she says she moves like this for up to three hours a day, bandages on her legs to prevent blisters.

For dancers and choreographers who have worked with Spears, her Instagram focus on choreography makes a lot of sense. “During the time when she didn’t have her freedom, that gave her freedom,” says Friedman.

Sharing her impromptu dance moves also allows her to connect directly with her fans. Brooke Lipton, who danced with Spears from 2001 to 2008, said in a phone interview that “Spears’ dance told the world she needed help – without saying anything. anything, because she couldn’t.”

If Spears can still do occasional fouetté turns, in which she spins on one leg, it’s thanks to a lifetime of training in the dance studio. Lipton, Friedman and others say Spears fits the range and commitment of professional dancers, with a natural knack for picking choreography quickly.

Tania Baron, who started performing in shopping malls with her budding star in 1998, said: “She grew up in the dance industry. There are artists who are just natural motivation. Then you’ve got people like Britney who can really dance like her dancers. “

Spears’ care and concern for the way she presents herself in advocacy speaks to how she understands her body as a dancer – as an artistic tool. The top-level choreographers may have created the dances for her, but they’re also working for other pop stars. What’s different is “the way she does them,” said Elizabeth Bergman, a scholar of commercial dance.

In the years prior to her management role, Spears carefully selected the choreographers she worked with. Valerie Moise, aka Raistalla, who danced in Spears concerts and videos in 2008 and 2009, points out that these collaborations have contributed to the enduring popularity of jazz funk, known with moves that are hard to beat.

“This is a style that is almost like a subculture to her,” Moise said in a phone interview. “It highlights how she wants to present herself.”

And Spears did more than just continue the tradition of the pop artists who danced before her.

“Of course there’s Madonna, Michael and Janet, and they’re amazing,” Lipton said. “But choreography is also evolving at a time when Wade and Brian are raising expectations of what dancers can do,” she added, referring to Spears’ frequent choreographers, Wade Robson and Friedman. Their routines are faster than the previous generation, with more movement and action per beat. “Every number was filled,” Lipton said.

While learning routines from choreographers, Spears would speak up when they came up with steps that weren’t right for her body, sometimes suggesting moves of her own. “She was a lot like the boss,” Baron said of Spears early in her career. “Not in a bad way. But if she doesn’t like something, she will make it public.”

From an early age, Spears recognized dance as a medium in which presence and artistry cannot be faked. “When you’re dancing, you just can’t take a step, you have to participate in it,” she said when she was a 12 year old child star of “Mickey Mouse Club.”

Randy Connor, who choreographers Spears’ routine in the classic video “…Baby One More Time,” said he believes her ability to convey emotions with and through her body is a major part of her success. her original star appeal. “It resonated with a lot of people because of her belief in the movement,” he said in a phone interview.

Coming to the industry known for his special effects, Spears uses choreography as a means of being transparent with fans. Everyone knows there is no such thing as a synchronous jump.

“That’s really how she communicates as an artist,” says Friedman. Even before starting Spears’ management role, he added, “she couldn’t really say all she wanted to in public, in interviews. But when she dances, it’s not a pity.”

Spears’ songs have become new and upcoming national anthems, and learning her moves has helped fans explore aspects of their identities with the same audacity that she shows on her body. Mimicking her performance allows them to “feel the spirit of Britney,” as Jack puts it on the TV show “Will & Grace,” after doing shoulder lifts and arm pumps as part of it. of the habit of “Oops! … I did it again. ”

Lipton emphasized that Spears chose her steps so that anyone watching could follow her.

“She would do a little less choreography,” Lipton said. “In a moment where we’re doing all these spins and slams, she just smiles and points her finger out, before rejoining again. That’s not unattainable.”

If Spears values ​​her power in motion alongside her fans, many commentators do not, often describing her dancing as if it were a ploy used to make up for the lack of talent. Other young female pop stars like Jessica Simpson and Avril Lavigne brag about not dancing, as if this makes them more authentic artists. In 2002, the Associated Press identified a case “Anti-Britneys” who is said to have challenged the idea that you have to “wear tight clothes to be sexy and successful in pop music”.

Friedman says that Spears’ dance is about her artistry, not her sex appeal.

“As Britney’s choreographer for so many years, I’ve never gotten around to doing moves to please anyone else,” he said. “It’s about how I can make her feel empowered in her body.”

In the 2008 documentary “Britney: For the Record,” which was filmed in the early days of her conservation role, Spears spoke as if she was aware of how important dancing would become to her under the control of others.

“Dancing is an important part of who I am and who I am. It was like something my spirit had to do,” she said. “I’ll die if I don’t dance.”

Arguing for the termination of conservatorship 13 years later, she identified one of her violations as the time when she was denied even right to control of her body. Spears said that at a dance practice in early 2019, after saying she wanted to modify a step in her choreography, she was told she wasn’t cooperating.

She claims she answer firmly in court: “I can say no to a dance move.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/07/arts/dance/britney-spears-dance-instagram.html Britney Spears always fights back. By dancing.

Fry Electronics Team

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