‘Tis the season to be jolly! So here is a little prezzie for you:Some time ago, years, we watched Jean Luc Godard’s 1964 film, Bande a Part (Band of Outsiders). To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about it, except for the scene where the three main characters are sitting in a cafe, and get up and do a spontaneous dance for about three minutes, then drift away, one by one. Right away, we wanted to learn the dance. But we forgot about it.
Then a few years ago, we watched the film, Le Weekend (2013), about a British middle-aged couple who go to Paris to revive their relationship, and of course, all sorts of other things happen. Including a reprise of the dance scene from Bande a Part, which they perform along with their friend, played in this movie by Jeff Goldblum. We wanted to learn the dance all over again.
It was one of my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. I found a really helpful video on YouTube, How to do the Madison Dance from ‘Le Weekend’
And I have made a cheat sheet for practicing, which I share here with you:
According to a New Yorker article (by Richard Brody) about the scene, the actors learned the dance to John Lee Hooker’s Shake it Baby. The music of Michel Legrand was dubbed in later, which is why it doesn’t seem to quite match up in the movie. But you can do it to anything in 4. I practiced it in my studio to Bach once.
There is another reprise of the scene in the 2007 film, The Go-Getter, which I haven’t seen, but here is the dance:
We are still practicing. We can do it, but kind of slowly, compared to the actors in the movie. But then, they practiced every day for 31 days before filming it.