One of the most expressive and flexible dance forms present in the world today, liquid dancing is an illusion-based form of gestural, interpretive dance. In other words, it is a dance form that involves smooth gestures and body movements, giving an illusion that the dancer’s body is as movable as something that is liquid, thus the name of the dance. Basically, the arms and hands are in focus, though advanced dancers move the full body. Learning the liquid dance is not easy and requires immense amount of practice and learning. It takes time to learn how to move your body in a way that it gives an illusion of a flowing or moving liquid.
History and Origin of Liquid Dance
The exact origin of liquid dance is a bit hard to trace as some believe there were sightings of this dance as early as the mid 70’s. However, it wasn’t until the 80’s that this dance started to evolve and rise in popularity. Taking inspirations from funk styling, break-dancing and popping, the liquid dance generated its own unique style and evolved as a popular form of street dancing in rave culture. Liquid dancing is a modified and evolved version of waving, one of the techniques used in popping. The difference between popping and liquid dancing is the fact that popping uses sudden jerk like movements while liquid uses smoother movements.
By the late 80’s and early 90’s, liquid dancing had evolved into a very popular form of dancing and self-expression. With time, the performer of liquid dancing also started making use of props. The most common one comprises of a glow-stick. These glow-sticks are usually in very bright colors and add a surreal feel to the whole dancing technique. Sometimes, juggling and miming is also combined with liquid dancing, to make it absolutely different and more complex. However, mostly, liquid dancers follow the fundamentals very carefully, so as not to merge this dance with any other similar dance form.
- Hand Flow: It involves moving the hands in a way that fluid illusion is maintained between the two, in keeping the rhythm.
- Rails: It can be described as movement of the dancer's arms along a pre-set path or "rail".
- Waves: In this technique, the dancer has to create the illusion that a wave is passing through his/her body, by alternation between tensing and relaxing of one part of the body.
- Traces: Here, the hand of the dancer traces the path of the wave that is seemingly going through his/her body.
- Threads: This involves creating an illusion that the body parts are being pulled through holes created by the placement of the dancer's arms.
- Contours: In this, the hands of the dancer trace the outline of a real or imaginary object, mostly his/ her own body.
- Splits: This technique has the hands of the dancer maintaining an illusion of fluid relationship, while moving independently of each other.
- Builds: Here, the dancer manipulates imaginary objects, in a way almost similar to pantomiming.