I Claim Kate Bush for Dance!

Here’s the Stranger Thing — Kate Bush has the heart of a contemporary dancer.

Dawn Davis Loring
ILLUMINATION
Published in
5 min readJun 4, 2022

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The anthem for summer 2022 appears to be Running Up That Hill (1985), by Kate Bush, featured in a key sequence in episode four, season four of Stranger Things. Besides introducing her artistry to another generation of listeners, new fans will also be watching her music video featuring a contemporary dance duet performed by Bush and dancer Michael Hervieu. Cast aside by MTV as “too esoteric,” this video gem shows Bush at the height of her dancing prowess and deserves a closer analysis. Kate Bush presents her vision as a dance and she sought out the training to be able to perform it herself, and that makes her a dancer in my book. Take a look:

Bush used her sizeable advance from EMI records to take class with noted UK dancer and teacher Lindsay Kemp, who introduced her to both mime and contemporary dance principles. He had been a student of famed mime Marcel Marceau and directed his own dance company in the 1960s, later staging shows for David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust days and choreographing work for high-profile dance companies such as Ballet Rambert. Influential dance teachers who helped Bush shape her movement style at this point in her career were modern dancer Robin Kovak and choreographer Dianne Grey, who created the dance piece for the video.

Description

Filmed mostly in blue tones, Bush and Hervieu, dressed in fitted blue leotards and wide-legged blue Japanese hakamas, reach toward the same spot while wrapping around each other, often with Bush inverted upside down and carefully cradled. After allowing her to spill on the ground, Hervieu gathers her close as she frantically pulls away from him toward the windows.

She eventually breaks away from him and with legs firmly planted on the ground, and twists her upper body, arms aloft, trailing her torso like flags, a percussive motion he mirrors before dumping her over his shoulder. Now on the floor, she dives between his legs to emerge on the other side of his voluminous pants. Caught for a few breaths on his outstretched arms, she readies for another dive, but he emerges instead. Bush…

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Dawn Davis Loring
ILLUMINATION

Dance writer and historian, teacher, and advocate. Book Dance Appreciation, published by Human Kinetics. Apple podcast - Today in Dance.