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Afternoon Delight: Geeky Dancing with Nathan Barnatt

by Jerome Weeks 7 Sep 2011 12:59 PM

Watch break-dance moves and disco steps get elevated into truly sublime geekiness, courtesy of comic dancer Nathan Barnatt.


Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re just back from lunch, but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for another one.

The 17-year-old DJ Madeon mashed-up 39 songs for his glossy online hit “Pop Culture.” Better yet, comic actor-dancer Nathan Barnatt created a video for it. Barnatt’s an “eccentric dancer,” the classic term for rubbery-legged guys like the brilliant dance-clown Bill Irwin or Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

Yes, much of the energy in this video comes from digital editing, something I’ve derided because it chops up the human line of a dance move for easy-to-achieve pow! impact. But even through all the quick-cuts and stop-motion, it’s clear that Barnatt a) is quite willing to look ridiculous while dancing yet manages it with tremendous flair and precision, and b) he can mix and elevate break dance moves and disco steps into his own kind of sublime geekiness.