60s Dancing, 60s Style

High and Low Dancing

This would be a much more stylish and fun place if we paid more attention to pre-hippie hipsters…I am thinking pre-1967…living in Europe, New York, and apparently Tokyo.

As I write this blog I am two hours into Akira Kurosawa‘s High and Low (1963), a long but very good Japanese crime drama.  Not only do the Japanese make short-sleeve dress shirts look stylish, but they can dance!

I have been paying attention to music and dancing in old films and it is clear that older generations were better dancers than anything we see in clubs today.  And when you watch a film by Akira Kurosawa where the scenes are long, you can study a lot of dancing.

Perhaps the best three minutes of dancing, however, is at the conclusion of Luis Bunuel’s Simon of the Desert (1965).  What makes it work?  These people are full of uninhibited energy and, most importantly, they are fun.  Today too many people on the dance floor look like they’ve been dragged out there against their wishes…because that’s exactly what has happened.  It is hard to look good when you’re self-conscious.

Back to the film.  (The police are about to trap the kidnapper.)  If you’re looking for a good crime drama, High and Low is a good one.  It does start a little slowly, but get through the first fifteen minutes and moves along very well.

Please keep your eyes open for hip and stylish early 60s dancing and let me know when you find it.

Simon of the Desert Dancing.

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