"I Hate Dancing"—And We Love This Video
“I hate dancing more than I can possibly explain,” declares the unmistakable voice of British actor and comedian Stephen Fry. It’s not the most reassuring statement to hear at the beginning of a dance video. Yet Jo Roy, a Los Angeles-based dancer-choreographer-director, has taken Fry’s rant (from what Fry calls a “podgram,” better known as a podcast, that he initially published in 2008) and used it as the soundtrack for a two-minute dance film. And it’s fantastic.
In “I Hate Dancing,” Roy translates the rhythms and inflections of Fry’s speaking patterns through her body with such clarity and eloquence that she may as well be producing the speech through her movement. In the gif above, she hits every syllable of the monologue’s opening statement. Below, she dances a line declaring formal choreography embarrassing.
The video was published early this summer through NOWNESS—yes, the people who gave us this David Hallberg video, this portrait of Royal Ballet principal Lauren Cuthbertson and this fashion bit featuring Janie Taylor dancing choreography by Justin Peck. Where “I Hate Dancing” departs from these earlier examples is in the tension between form and content—the inherent irony of using dance to illustrate a condemnation of dancing. Since gifs don’t really do it justice, check out the full video below.
We can’t help but think that the famously tongue-in-cheek Fry might just approve.