Friday Film Break: Lil Buck's "Nobody Knows"

In Lil Buck's new film "Nobody Knows," the Memphis jookin' star absorbs both the beat and the lyrics of that famous gospel song straight into his body. Not only showing off the impressive footwork and liquid arm waves we've come to expect from Buck, his deeply soulful performance captures his struggle as a Black man in America. In one particularly moving moment, he freezes, arching back as the music is silenced, replaced by a protest shout of "No justice, no peace."

Buck writes in the YouTube description: "Some things have to be felt to be understood and when I was a child, there was nothing that made me FEEL more than dance or the Church Choir." Directed by David Javier and co-produced by Red Bull Dance and Javier's IMGN Films, this work combines dance with Pastor T.L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir's infectious version of the gospel song to produce serious feels.

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

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December 2020