Judson Laipply

I know this isn’t high art, but Judson Laipply’s “Evolution of Dance” video on Youtube has over 90 MILLION hits. They say that the dance Revelations by Alvin Ailey has been seen by more people than any other dance on the planet. But I’m pretty sure more people have now seen Judson Laipply’s history of dance — ironic, isn’t it? 

I actually enjoyed watching it myself, and went to his website to check him out. I found that he is actually a motivational speaker. He describes himself as a cross between Anthony Robbins and Robin Williams…. I enjoyed his description of how he came up with the idea. You can read the whole thing on his site. The short version is:

“I had already begun to explore the understanding that life is change. I felt that this was a first step to creating the life you want by understanding the simple idea that life is change. So I wanted to do something to make sure that message stuck in the minds of my audience. I milled this over in my head for about 6-9 months when I was finally hit with the idea of how much dancing had changed. I began to think about how funny it would be to visually see all of the dances and thus the idea was born.”

In case you haven’t yet seen it: here is Jud’s Evolution of Dance.

I have had a number of discussion recently about the European acceptance of change in the arts, and an American pull towards a bizarre, hopeless, ‘preservation’ of the arts. I appreciate that this man understands that dance – as a field – reflects an ongoing, unstoppable, change. I think it’s funny, too, that his first name is Judson. For the uninitiated, or uneducated, I recommend a pilgrimage to the Judson Memorial Church. Or at least a few minutes reading up about it – maybe here.

I actually wrote this post in April and posted it on Bourgeon. But it doesn’t really belong there. Bourgeon is not supposed to be a site for random me-ness. It’s hard to get material regularly, though, what with having a job, training, dancing, etc… so I had posted it simply to get some fresh material up. 

If you haven’t been to bourgeon, please check it out. If you are an artist of any sort, and would like to publish something on bourgeon, please contact me. I’d love to hear about it. 

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.