Monday, July 30, 2007

melbshuffle forum

Forums come and go, tending to have a natural life cycle as core forum members move on. And sometimes it can be hard trying to fit in when there's an established core membership.

Here's a new shuffle forum which has only just started a couple of weeks ago. So if you're looking for a new Melbourne Shuffle based forum to get involved in from the begining, check it out.

It's called Melbshuffle forum at

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vali Myers. A Memoir. Gianni Menichetti

  • Vali was a dear dear friend of mine and next door neighbour in the Nicholas Building for many years until her passing away February 2003. We would take our studio guests around to each others studio, for a visit. I spent many hours in Vali's studio, as did many others, sitting around on her cushions talking art, life and having a few drinks as the sun went down on the Cathedral outside her studio. Her advise invaluable, her friendship cherished. I still have many of Vali's items which she passed on to me, in my studio, things that are of value to another artist. Early handwritten drafts of her book and diary, and even her old broken fridge, which I use to store my clay in - the door seal still works and prevents the clay from drying out. With these, to me it feels like Vali has not left the Building, rather she's just away somewhere, at Il Porto perhaps feeding the chooks and working by candle light with a goose quill pen on a new work, and one day will walk through the door again with 'Hello love, what have you been up to?" I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone. - Garry Shepherd

The Australian artist, Vali Myers, was a legend in her own time. Première danseuse of the Melbourne Modern Ballet at seventeen, she left home and spent ten years in Paris, living much of the time on the streets but never ceasing to draw. Ed van der Elsken famously put her on the cover of his Love on the Left Bank, that manifesto of Paris in the 1950’s and her work was praised by George Plimpton in his Paris Review. Then, saying goodbye to all that, she spent forty years in semi-seclusion in a wild canyon in Italy, where she continued producing her minute, mystical, and passionate drawings. Tough as nails, she fought the local authorities who wanted to introduce loggers into the valley, after a long struggle succeeding in having it designated an Environmental Oasis. Finally, Vali returned triumphant to her native Melbourne, where she was recognized as an artist sui generis.

In this brilliant memoir by her friend and lover, Gianni Menichetti, her art, times, and personality come through unforgettably. For thirty years, Gianni Menichetti, the author of this memoir, lived with Vali Myers in the wild canyon of ‘Il Porto’—first as lover and willing slave, ultimately as friend, confidant, and protector.

New Release: Vali Myers ● A Memoir ● by Gianni Menichetti

  • “You saw in her the personalization of something torn and loose and deep down primitive in all of us.” — George Plimpton, Paris Review

  • “Vali’s dogs, Vali’s trees, Vali’s donkey, the birds, the flowers, the caves, the spiders of Vali. We have seen for the first time the old skeleton of nature." — Bernardo Bertolucci, film-maker, Last Tango in Paris, Stealing Beauty

  • "It was like being friends with some angel who had gotten kicked out for lewd behavior" - Chris Stern, musician, Blondie

$25.00 US
ISBN 0-9785606-0-4
Published by The Golda Foundation © 2007

Vali & Gianni dancing, Il Porto by Marco Bakker (2000)

Vali in her Nicholas Building studio

Some of Vali's artworks. These are prints which are availible for purchase from

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Melbourne Shuffle Teams

I have had a few comments about why I have interviewed and profiled Apek and the JB Shufflers

Apek and the JB Shufflers are just the first of many Shuffle teams Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool wants to profile.

I have emailed other Malaysian teams since Apek, but they have not wanted to be interviewed, which is okay.

Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool has thousands of regular readers from over 50 countries around the world.

I think teams are great. I think choreography is great. They are a new development for the Melbourne Shuffle and Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool wants to support you.

Yes, the Melbourne Shuffle is a free style dance form, and that means you are also free to do choreography if you want. It gives you a chance to do some spectacular dancing and explore the potential the Melbourne Shuffle has for dancing in groups. I don't think anybody has a problem with that.

So if you want your team to be interviewed, or want to suggest some teams, please post some details and links in the comments of this post so we can follow them up, and see if they want to be interviewed.

And lets see some Belgian and Dutch jump style Melbourne Shufflers in there too. And what about the American's. 30% of the Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool readers are from America, come on guys and girls, lets hear about you and see your Melbourne Shuffle

It will be a great way for teams to become more well known. Especially if team members are interested in becoming professional Melbourne Shufflers.

If you can make a living out of doing what you love, you are in heaven. The Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool, is more than happy if we can help you achieve that.

Remember: Choreography, No Choreography, Team or No Team, it is ALL the Melbourne Shuffle. Let us all help in developing the Melbourne Shuffle to become greater than it already is.

After all, if the new generation of Shufflers didn't contribute and build on what the Oldskool had started, none of us would be doing it, or watching and enjoying it today.

Bring on the Future, nuskool or oldskool, team or individual, choreograph or free form, beginners or professional, there can be hundreds of moves, hundreds of teams, it's everyones freedom, it's everyone's Melbourne Shuffle.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Melbourne Shuffle Girls

Girls made up about half of the shufflers in the oldskool era, these days there's hardly any. One main reason is the current hardstyle music and shuffle steps.

We'll state the obvious here, hardstyle does a lot of pounding to girls breasts. Yes might be fun for guys (and some girls ) to watch, but it's mighty uncomfortable for girls and can cause a lot of tearing. Just as a lot of moves give guys testicles a lot of soreness (and a sudden high voice) so they avoid them.

Basically if these things, for both guys and girls, are going to bounce, they need to bounce in time with the rest of your body. Otherwise there's serious pain and realistic injury.

Guys testicles are smaller than girls breasts, which means less gravity issues in the bounce, so jump and hardstyle's quick short sharp bounce moves are no real drama for guys, but a nightmare for girls. Similarly you won't see a lot of guys doing star jumps, splits or leg scissor type moves, without holding their breath and praying, where the girls will give the guys a 'what's your problem, just do it' look.

Dancing is a high level athletic activity, and it's not just your legs and feet you need to take care of, your spine takes a pounding, your knees take a pounding, your neck and arms too. Professional dancers at an elite level, have about the same professional career life span as elite professional athletes. You peak at 25 years old, you retire by 30.

If you're going to get an injury from dancing it will be similar to a sporting injury - intense.

So take care, stretch and warm up and warm down - always. Vary your moves from hard to smooth/fluid. Be very careful with bursts of energy, that you don't go in cold or over stretch, which can rip muscles and tendons.

Check out some exercises for dancers, sports and martial arts, and do them. You'll dance better, avoid injury and you'll keep on dancing for years to come.

If you watch the girls dancing in the oldskool vids, you'll find more of a smooth shuffle flow, and liquid moves, mostly to trance and acid, which was common at dance parties. Many of the oldskool girls had recreational ballet and tap training from when they were about 6 years old. The guys came from a hip-hop or martial arts background, so their moves were more burst like. That's not to say girls didn't get 'physical' shuffling, girls with gymnastics backgrounds could dance the guys into the ground.

The two mixed to become the Melbourne Shuffle, but everyone danced according to their body type. Guys with weight lifting physiques don't have the same flexibility as long distance runners. The same goes with girls. That's why there's so much variation.

I worked for many years (as music composer and video artist) with a Melbourne based contemporary dance company called Mixed Company, with male director, Malaysian born Tony Yap. There were a number of western dancers male and female, of all body types, and female butoh dancer, Japanese born Umi Umimare. Not only did we consciously explore all our different cultural attitudes, taboo's, peculiarities etc, but the obvious genetic and gender difference's with different body types. Everyone had strengths and weaknesses.

So keep this in mind when you do the Melbourne Shuffle. We love diversity in the Melbourne Shuffle. Develop what best works for you. It's just about different body types and dancing sensibly, and it's all the Melbourne Shuffle.

There's a lot of girls getting back into the Shuffle scene now, which is fantastic to see. The guys love it too and are generally happy to show their girlfriends (and hope-to-soon-be girlfriends) some moves. And of course the girls are more than capable to work it out themselves, and show the guys some moves!

Here's a sample of what's happening on youtube, some are beginners, some more experienced, but they're all great Melbourne Shuffle Girls.

First here’s some oldskool girls and Russian girls shuffling from Global Shuffle 1


Girl DOing HArdstyleZ

SHUFFLE (cute)

anna carol joanne shuffle

Llttle Girl Melbourne Shuffle


girls shuffle too

shuffle girls sabrina and claudia shufflen

chIcK ShUffleZ at B'dAy

Sarah shuffling (my g/f)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Melbourne Shuffle

Just spotted this post by Aliciaks on her blog , see her blog for more details.

Melbourne Shuffle FEV.ER 18 August 2007 - A friendly match amongst ourselves. Now that's what we like to see. Hopefully we'll see some youtube vids of it as well...

After so many free park shuffles & gatherings, we decided to come out with an event in the latest club FEV.ER previously known as Eagles's Nest.

A friendly match amongst ourselves. Besides the competition, the resident DJ will be spinning all the latest hardstyle mixes just for the night.

Entrance Fee : RM20.00 inclusive of 1 bottle heineken.
Available from 9th July onwards at : FEV.ER or contact any Tribezone Crew
***Free Entry for Contestants

Prizes has not been finalized. Will post it up soon.

Fact : The fund from this event will be used for our preparation for The Borneo Carnival 2007. The biggest New Year's Eve celebration this year in Sarawak Cultural Village with Blutonium Boy-Germany, X-Statik-Australia, XiLe-Kuala Lumpur, Hardheroes-Kuala Lumpur, CQuenz-Miri & many other more. & we are giving out 4 free tickets worth of RM85 each during Melbourne Shuffle FEV.ER for your strong support.

More detail on The Borneo Carnival 2007 will be posted up so... stay tuned!

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Electro played a major part of electronic dance music history in the early 80's.

Peter Gabriel's 1983 Sledgehammer vid has some brilliant animation by the Brothers Quay, who were not pupils (correction by Michael Brooke . Thanks Michael. See comments) of the equally brilliant master surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer. According to Michael Brooke, the Quays were asked to imitate Svankmajers style, which they weren't too happy about.

Anyhow, in this vid, Peter does the 1970's Melbourne Sharpie dance expertly.

Melbourne Sharpies of the 70's who did a distinctive sideways elbow move, which developed as a Melbourne style from a similar Ska type move done by UK skinheads. Sharpies were Melbourne versions of skinheads.


Greg Macainsh (From Melbourne rock band Skyhooks) shot this great short film of the Sharps in 1974. While Sharps enjoyed a fight, they insisted you 'look sharp' ie. dress well, while you do it.

Sharps were as fussy about their hair, shoes and melbourne made Conte cardigans, as any female fashionista today.

Proud peacocks one and all, Sharps topped off their display with a distinctive dance style, which is still included in that other distinctive Melbourne dance style of today, the Melbourne Shuffle ;)

Sharpies in Melbourne 1974. By Greg Macainsh


This vid is by Larry Jenkins who had an exhibition of his 70's Sharpie pics in the National Gallery. He was pretty chuffed about it and wrote this track, which has a lot of his pics, and some fantastic period footage - mid 1970's of Sharpies dancing. Ya gotta see it it's great...

Artifact - Larry Jenkins

Sharpie Shuffle

In the pics below you can see Voodoo Phil doing it at Global Village in 1994, and below that Voitek doing it at every Picture Tells A Story 1992. Each with the videos you can catch a glimpse of them in action.



About 3.30 mins in of this 1983 Sledghammer vid you'll see Peter Gabriel doing this Sharpies sideways elbow move, (pic above) really well. He even gets right down in a bent over position, like the experienced dancers did - the 'how low can you go' move. Not sure where Peter got the moves from, but the guy who produced his first single Salisbury Hill was Rob McKenzie from brilliant 1970's Melbourne band McKenzie Theory - yep saw them live in Melbourne. I shall try contacting some people to explore this further.

Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
And just for the sheer brilliance of the animation, here's some Jan Svankmajer vids

Jan Svankmajer Dimensions of Dialogue Part 1

Check out the dancing hat, shirt and pants in Jabberwocky. No body just the clothes, it's great!

Jan Svankmajer - Jabberwocky(Part 1)

And to finish off here's some of the Brothers Quay original films. First saw the absolutely brilliant Street of Crocodiles at a Melbourne animation film festival in the 1980's. Unfortunetly, the only youtube version I can find doesn't have the original film score by Leszek Jankowski. So turn the volume down the music just gets in the way of some brilliant animation. (- Yes I know I've said brilliant a lot but it's deserved)

Brothers Quay - Street of Crocodiles (1986) not original soundtrack

Brothers Quay -1985- The Epic of Gilgamesh

Brothers Quay interview