Online Finds: Poikkeustilapolkka – Polka in Quarantine

After Hours, Bits in Spaaace!

During the covid-19 pandemic, many people in my social bubble have turned not just to handcrafts but to video projects as a way to pass the time and provide comfort. I’ve seen a wide spread of projects and inspiration as a consequence, and enjoyed every one. Here’s an example.

Polokkarit is a 25-year-old folk dance ensemble based in Oulu, Finland. They recorded a polka performance that respects physical distancing recommendations.

(P.S. Beware of one blurred-out NSWF moment – I’m kinda flabbergasted that they left it in.)

Poikkeustilapolkka – Polka in Quarantine by Polokkarit Kansantanssiryhmä on YouTube

They tell a bit about their polka video on YouTube:

“At the moment most of the world is in lockdown mode, but the Finnish folk dance group Polokkarit has found a way to combine dancing and social distancing. Ever since Finland introduced official COVID-19 restrictions, weekly video calls have gathered the group together to practice, keep in touch and socialize. These sessions resulted in an idea of ‘Polka in Quarantine’, a video piece for celebrating International Dance Day with the aim to help ease the group’s yearning for dancing together and at the same time brighten the day of people all around the world.

“The whole production of ‘Polka in Quarantine’ was carried out remotely. The piece introduces the variety of Finnish polka steps in the characteristically cheerful Polokkarit style while offering the dancers’ national costumes a long-awaited outing as well. The video features 29 Polokkarit dancers altogether, scattered to different parts of the country due to the pandemic. Despite the physical distance, this video piece brings the dancers together, thanks to Finnish polka. As well as demonstrating a variety of traditional Finnish polka steps, ‘Polka in Quarantine’ also gives the viewer a unique chance to take a peek into Finnish homes.”

Love it! It’s also nice to see glimpses of familiar places in the background.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Favorite Dance Scenes?

Geek out!, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

Propelled by the discussion on Frock Flicks, I’ve been thinking about my favorite dance scenes in genre (including historical) productions. Here are the four most memorable ones for me:

4. ballroom scene from the Labyrinth

Henson puppets and the Carnival of Venice masquerading as fantasy. The scene unfolds in a very dreamworldly way, and David Bowie’s performance is amazing. Mostly because nostalgia.

3. underground dance party, The Matrix Reloaded

Even if I have issues with the movie, I find it believable that people in a miserable, dystopic world would relieve their angst with rave-type dances.

2. Ship’s Cook from 2009 Emma miniseries

(Can’t find a YouTube clip from the production to link to, so here’s a vid with melody and stills.)

I just love the tune – and of course, this is the scene where Mr. Elton thoroughly reveals his pettiness and Mr. Knightley his perception and kindheartedness. Mr. Knightley is my favorite of Jane Austen’s male leads, and Jonny Lee Miller’s is my favorite version of Mr. Knightley. It’s all win! 🙂

1. Meryton village ball, 2005 Pride & Prejudice

Dancing is so much FUN, but that’s rarely shown on screen, especially in period pieces. This scene is not stuffily elegant at all but joyful! And noisy and crowded and full of people of all stripes, as an unfashionable, confined and unvarying little village might well be.

Bonus entry: all the dance scenes from Bride and Prejudice

The colors, gorgeous interiors and exteriors, the rhythm, the good humor… How is that not awesome!

What are your favorites and why?